A quick look at what’s making news at Florida’s busiest airport
GREATER ORLANDO AVIATION AUTHORITY REFUNDING REVENUE BONDS RECEIVE STRONG RATINGS FROM THE THREE MAJOR RATING SERVICES
The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) received an ‘AA-’ ranking from Fitch; ‘Aa3’ from Moodys and an ‘A+’ from Standard and Poor’s for its airport facilities refunding revenue bonds, series 2008, not to exceed $350 million. The issue to be designated in two series, 2008A which will be subject to the federal alternative minimum tax (AMT) and series 2008B which will be taxable. These bonds are subject to negotiated sale on or about March 25. The bonds will refund outstanding Series 1998 variable rate subordinated debt of the Authority and pay a swap termination payment. The bonds are secured by the net revenues generated from the operations at Orlando International Airport. The prospects for the ratings for all GOAA bonds are stable including the airport’s outstanding senior lien debt ($747 million) which was also affirmed as ‘AA-‘. The ratings reflect the airport’s high level of origination and destination traffic, diversified mixture of carriers, increasing enplanement levels, sound fiscal operations and a competitive cost structure.
FORBES NAMES ORLANDO ONE OF THE MOST WIRED AIRPORTS IN WORLD RANKING
Orlando is ranked number nine overall for offering wired and wireless access to the Internet. The rankings considered passenger traffic (24th in the world), seating comfort, electrical connections and wired Internet access (7th), wireless “Wi-Fi” Internet access (4th), and the cost for access. In Orlando Wi-Fi is free throughout the public areas of the airport terminal. In today’s environment where many travelers feel a need to be connected and accessible at all times, airports are expected to provide these services for their laptop and handheld computers and mobile phones that are Wi-Fi enabled. The Forbes ranking was based on three criteria: the breadth of Wi-fi coverage; whether the service was charged or complimentary and the number of providers that were offered as options. Also in consideration was the comfort and convenience factor of using the personal equipment. The list included 50 airports from around the world with 21 in the United States.
ORLANDO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT WINS “BEST IN CLASS” IN NATIONAL CONCESSIONS AWARDS
Orlando International Airport (MCO) received two prestigious awards in national Best Concessions Awards presentation at the annual Airport Revenue News (ARN) Conference and Exhibition. Orlando received two awards in the large airport division: for “Best Customer Service” and the “Best Concessions Management Team”.
“These prestigious awards reflect the best airports and concessionaires in the industry who are chosen by respected experts,” says Pauline Armbrust, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Armbrust Aviation Group, sponsor of the competition and publisher of the magazine Airport Revenue News. This year’s judges were chosen for their broad-based expertise and knowledge about concessions. The judges are separated into two groups: concessionaire judges who vote for nominees in airport program categories and airport judges who vote for store and restaurant nominees in concessionaire categories. The nominees were chosen in an earlier process by readers for their noticeably high standards of excellence in a variety of categories.
Winners of ARN’s 2008 Best Airport Concessions Awards:
Large Airport Division
Seattle-Tacoma International - Airport with the Best Concessions Program Design
Orlando International - Airport with the Best Customer Service
Orlando International - Airport with the Best Concessions Management Team
McCarran Las Vegas International - Airport with the Most Unique Services
Dallas/Ft. Worth International - Airport with the Best Overall Concessions Program
Four concessionaires operating at MCO also received top honors in the concessions contest: HMSHost, Borders Group Retailer, Stellar Partners and Airport Wireless.
The awards reflect the industry’s choice for the best concession programs and the best concessionaires of the year in the United States. The winners are posted in the April issue of the magazine.
ORLANDO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT GETS SUPERIOR RATINGS IN THE ANNUAL AIR CARGO EXCELLENCE AWARDS
Orlando International Airport received top awards in the annual awards of Air Cargo News, one of the leading aviation-trade publications. The award was based on rankings from readers and customers in four key areas of measurement: customer service, performance, value and information technology. The award results will be distributed at the annual “Air Cargo 2008” in Orlando in March and at the International Air Transport Association World Cargo Symposium in Italy.
ORLANDO BECOMES THIRD AIRPORT TO LAUNCH “BLACK DIAMOND” SELF-SELECT LANES FOR PASSENGER SCREENING PROCESS
In a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) program initiated to provide customers with the opportunity to “self select” the queue and lanes for the security screening process, Orlando becomes the third airport in a 120-day plot program at the East checkpoint (Gates 60-129). It is expected that the program will help passengers manage their time, increase efficiency and benefit from a less stressful experience. The program named after the signs used in skiing to denote skill level will direct passengers based on their travel needs and knowledge. “Expert” for the business traveler, “Casual” for passengers that travel less frequently and are familiar with TSA procedures and “Families and Special Assistance” for passengers traveling with small children, the elderly or those passengers who may need special assistance. As the busiest airport in the state of Florida with nearly 100,000 passengers per day, it is expected that the program will enhance the security screening experience and provide a seamless and efficient operation.
For more information, contact Carolyn Fennell at the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority at (407) 825-2055.
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