Legislature(2005 - 2006)
2005-03-29 House JournalFull Journal pdf
2005-03-29 House Journal Page 0763 HB 237 HOUSE BILL NO. 237 by the House Rules Committee by request of the Governor, entitled: "An Act relating to international airports revenue bonds; and providing for an effective date." was read the first time and referred to the Transportation and Finance Committees. The following fiscal note(s) apply: 1. Fiscal, Dept. of Revenue The Governor's transmittal letter dated March 24, 2005, follows: "Dear Speaker Harris: Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I am transmitting a bill relating to international airports revenue bonds. The bill would amend AS 37.15.410 to increase the cumulative authorization for international airports revenue bonds from the current $524,500,000 to $812,500,000. This increase will allow the sale of up to $288,000,000 in new international airports revenue bonds to support capital improvement programs for fiscal years 2006 through 2009 at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and Fairbanks International Airport, which together comprise the Alaska International Airports System (AIAS). AS 37.15.410 states the cumulative amount of bonds authorized since the creation of the international airports revenue bonding program, including those already fully retired, and does not reflect the dollar amount of bonds outstanding at any given time. 2005-03-29 House Journal Page 0764 Funding for operations and capital improvements of the AIAS is obtained from charges for the use of airport facilities, primarily paid by commercial airlines. The AIAS and the airlines that are signatories to the International Airports System Operating Agreement have agreed to a capital improvement program approved by the signatory airline ratepayers through a voting procedure under the Operating Agreement. With full support of the airlines, revenue bond funding allows the cost of long-term airport projects to be spread over longer periods of time, such as the useful life of the projects. Annual debt service will be paid through airline rates and fees -- and in some cases, federal grant proceeds or passenger facility charges. Additional bond authorization under AS 37.15.410 was granted in 2001 and again in 2003, to implement the AIAS capital improvement program through fiscal year 2005. Additional bond authorization is now required to finance the continuation of the capital improvement program. AS 37.15.410 has, to date, authorized the state to issue up to $524,500,000 of revenue bonds to support airport projects. This authority, cumulative since the inception of AS 37.15.410, has been exhausted, with outstanding bond principal standing at approximately $427,000,000 as of June 30, 2004. The increase in this bill is required to allow the sale of additional bonds. The authority sought in this bill would increase the bond authorization limit to finance capital improvements at both the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and Fairbanks International Airport through fiscal year 2009. By including the full authorization in this bill, the state could sell bonds in a single offering or in multiple offerings, as best maximizes the efficiency and reduces the cost of bond issuance, while providing financing as required to meet project needs. At Anchorage, these bond proceeds would provide some or all of the state share for federal airport improvement program projects such as airfield pavement maintenance, equipment, noise abatement program implementation, master planning, advanced project/parking design study, and aircraft rescue and fire fighting building rehabilitation. Anchorage bond projects not primarily supported by federal money include such projects as information technology improvements, terminal rehabilitation, general aviation parking and taxiway 2005-03-29 House Journal Page 0765 relocation, and homeland security renovation. Bond proceeds also would fund the lion's share of the Anchorage South Terminal Concourse A and B remodel project. At Fairbanks, these bond proceeds would provide the state share for primary runway reconstruction, including pavement replacement, associated airfield lighting reconstruction, and relocation of the heavy aircraft cargo apron to meet airport design criteria and to permit development of underutilized land. Bond proceeds also would replace worn out airport operations, safety, and maintenance equipment. Finally, the bond proceeds would provide the bulk of the funding necessary for a terminal area development project at Fairbanks. This project would upgrade and replace Fairbanks terminal facilities to resolve seismic and code deficiencies, as well as to accommodate future growth in passenger numbers. The AIAS is an increasingly vital and growing part of our economic engine. The AIAS and the state's major air carriers propose to continue developing our world-class international airports through the implementation of the International Airports Operating Agreement, supported by the issuance of the additional revenue bonds that would be authorized by this bill. In order to assure timely project development, I urge your prompt and favorable action on this measure. Sincerely yours, /s/ Frank H. Murkowski Governor"