Austin airport plans bonds for rental car facility

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Austin Bergstrom International airport plans a $141.9 million bond issue to finance a new consolidated rental car facility at the airport this month.

The new five-story facility will include four for the airport's eight rental car companies and one for the airport, according to rating agency Moody's. Construction is slated to begin in March with substantial completion scheduled for September 2015.

The City of Austin-issued bonds will be repaid by a trust funded by customer facility charges and rental car company fees, according to city documents. They will have a maturity of up to 30 years.

"The airport benefits from the clear strengths of a near monopoly position of providing service to the robust economy of Austin," says Moody's, which anticipates that the bonds will be sold on 16 January. "Enplanement growth has been consistently at 3% or higher since 2005, with the exception of an 11.2% decline in 2009 due to the economic recession."

"Moody's expects the airport will continue to see long-term enplanement growth in line with the population and economic growth trends of the area," it adds.

Wells Fargo Securities is underwriting the issue, according to the city.

Austin approved a contract for preliminary design of the about $45 million terminal east expansion this past October. The project includes a new security checkpoint and increased terminal space on the east side of the existing building.