Budget funds new investments to support record business demand
BOSTON – The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) Board of Directors yesterday voted to approve a Business Plan and Budget for Fiscal Year 2019 of $823 million, which is $40 million higher than the previous year. The budget reflects Massport’s commitment to key areas including: safety and security at all facilities, customer service, propelling the region’s economic growth with services at our airports and the Port of Boston, increasing high occupancy vehicle use and improving ground transportation access at Boston Logan International Airport, supporting initiatives in neighboring communities, and improving the financial performance of maritime operations.
“For the past few years, Conley Terminal and the Cruiseport have had record breaking activity, Logan is handling more passengers flying to more destinations, and airlines are adding more service at Worcester Regional Airport,’’ said Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn. “With all the growth in activity, we remain strategic in our spending and investments and aim to keep employee headcount to a minimum.’’
Massport summary of activity for calendar year 2017:
Logan International Airport served 38,412,419 passengers, a 5.9 percent increase over 2016;
Conley Terminal processed 270,881 TEUs in 2017, surpassing 2016 by 9 percent, and becoming the third straight year of records;
Flynn Cruiseport Boston welcomed a record 388,222 visitors to Boston during the 2017 cruise season and approximately 400,000 passengers are expected during the 2018 season.
Doing more with less
Once again, Massport is expecting to serve a record number of passengers at both Flynn Cruiseport Boston and Boston Logan, as well as a record number of cruise ships at the Cruiseport and containers at Conley Terminal in this fiscal year. At the same time, Massport will keep new hires to 2 percent, and hold wage increases to less than 3 percent.
Both Boston Logan International Airport and the local cruise industry were mentioned in the May 2018 edition of the Federal Reserve Bank’s “Beige Book,” which summarizes economic activity in all 12 districts. The Retail and Tourism section of the report noted the positive impact of the increase in both air passengers and cruise ship traffic.
Going the extra mile
About 63 percent of the budget, $516 million, will go to fund the day-to-day operations of the Aviation, Maritime and Real Estate business lines as well as the Authority’s support departments. This operating budget helps propel the Massachusetts’ economy, enhances customer offerings and strengthens our commitment to safety and security. This is a 4.9 percent increase over the previous year and includes:
$5M in new spending on safety and security, Massport’s highest priority with over $100M in the budget;
$7M in new spending will support the Authority’s efforts as a regional economic engine;
$5M of new investment is being made to enhance customer experience at Massport facilities such as new Logan Express buses and more frequent service;
$2M in new spending will be used on new technologies throughout Massport facilities;
$0.3M for additional resources to respond to the growth in domestic commercial service and new passengers at Worcester Regional Airport;
The budget also includes funds to operate the recently opened South Boston Waterfront Transportation Center and to activate public spaces in the Seaport District.
About 17 percent of the budget, or $138 million, is dedicated to fund debt obligations on $1.4 billion of outstanding bonds used to finance the Capital Program, which has doubled in size during the last 4 years. Another 10 percent, or $85 million, is included in the budget for maintenance of existing assets to keep them in a state of good repair. The final 10 percent, or $84 million, will be used to pay for several critical projects in the Capital Program. These projects include runway, terminal and roadway improvements at Logan International Airport, and to accelerate the modernization of Conley Container Terminal to accommodate larger ships that will be using this facility.
Your safety is our top priority
The safety and security of our customers and employees is the top priority of Massport and the Authority will spend an additional $4.8 million in the next fiscal year in personnel, technology, training and inspections to keep the people who use and who work at our facilities safe. In total, more than $100M will be used to ensure security at all Massport facilities.
Supporting and improving the quality of life for our neighbors
Massport contributes to our neighboring communities in the form of grants, summer job programs, scholarships and other community initiatives.
Some of Massport’s direct community investments include:
PILOT (Payment in lieu of taxes) $19.4M;
Summer job opportunities for youth, education scholarships, after school programs and other community giving $1M;
Massport Community Advisory Committee (CAC) $0.3M.
The budget also includes funding for the East Boston Foundation, and Community Health Centers in East Boston and Winthrop, among other initiatives.