BLOUNTVILLE — Tri-Cities Regional Airport has emerged out of winter unscathed financially despite frigid weather that caused lost flights and increased expenses due to runway snow removal, according to a working draft of the airport's projected year-end operating budget.
"The one common denominator amongst where we spent more than anticipated at this time is the fact we had bad weather, which meant we had removal of snow and ice," TCRA Interim Budget Director Larry Bailey told Airport Authority commissioners during a recent joint session between the airport Administrations/Operations and Airfield Development committees. "...We spent more on repairs and maintenance. As homeowners, we realize the weather has been tough on things like that. It brings on more personnel cost and overtime."
For the fiscal year ending this June 30, TCRA is projecting $6.1 million in revenues with higher than budgeted returns in its three main moneymakers — airline landing fees, parking and rental cars.
A 2.4 percent increase in departing travelers — more than 202,700 overall — is also anticipated.
The airline revenue increase, TCRA officials said, is due to larger aircraft used by Delta Connection taking travelers to Atlanta.
As a result, TCRA is expecting its net operating income to be over a half million dollars, about $250,000 more than budgeted.
But in the draft budget for the coming fiscal year beginning on July 1, TCRA is only projecting a .4 percent increase in departures.
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