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Charleston Business

Charleston County Aviation Authority places bonds to support $88 million, 3,000-space parking garage.

Jan 31, 2019 01:30PM

The Charleston County Aviation Authority today announced that $64.7 million in thirty-year bonds were successfully placed this week. Net proceeds from the sale will be used to support an $88 million, 3,000-space parking garage.

“This successful bond issuance enables us to confidently enter the next phase of our master facility plan,” said R. Walter Hundley, Aviation Authority Chairman. “We have experienced incredible growth in passenger traffic. Our commitment is to ensure our infrastructure keeps pace with demand.”

The airport saw another year of record-setting passenger volume in 2018. Over 4.4 million passengers traveled through the airport, an increase of 12% from 2017.

In January, credit rating agencies assigned favorable ratings to the Airport Revenue Bonds. Moody's gave the new bonds an A1, while Standard & Poor's rated them A+.

“The rating agencies applauded the airport’s impressive growth trend, stable leadership and solid financial management, and the market responded favorably this week,” said Sam Howell, the Authority’s bond attorney and a partner with Howell Linkous and Nettles, LLC. “Investor demand exceeded our expectations and resulted in improved financing terms.”

The aggregate principal amount was reduced from $72 million to 64.7 million, partially driven by a larger expected premium from investors. The interest rate improved to 3.83% at closing.

“New carriers, additional destinations and larger aircraft on existing routes signal a positive future,” said Paul Campbell, Jr., CEO of the Aviation Authority. “But none of that compares to the incredible employees serving the airport day in and day out. They make all of this possible.”

Charleston International Airport (CHS) provides first-class facilities and amenities that embrace the history, culture and beauty of Charleston and the Lowcountry of South Carolina. The airport is centrally located in the Charleston, S.C., metropolitan area and provides an exceptional first impression of the Lowcountry for more than 4 million passengers traveling to and from here annually for business and leisure activities.

Chartered in 1970 by the State of South Carolina as a special purpose district, the governing body, the Charleston County Aviation Authority, is responsible for managing, operating and developing all public airports in the Charleston County Airport District. That includes CHS as well as general aviation facilities the Charleston Executive Airport (JZI) on Johns Island and the Mount Pleasant Regional Airport (LRO). The runways at CHS are owned by the U.S. Air Force and Joint Base Charleston and are shared by CHS through what is the longest running civilian/military joint-use agreement of its kind with the Department of Defense. Boeing South Carolina, the final assembly for the 787 Dreamliner, sits on approximately 730 acres of land adjacent to CHS.

Hernan E. Peña, Jr. Deputy Executive Director & COO Charleston County Aviation Authority hpena@iflyCHS.com 843-767-7000