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Branson Airport reports $20 million loss since opening

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Branson Airport posted a $13.7 million loss in 2010, bringing the private airport’s total losses to $19.9 million since opening in May 2009, according to filings with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board.

The overall loss came on the heels of a $3.8 million net loss in fourth-quarter 2010. In 2009, the airport lost $6.2 million, according to an independent audit by Overland Park accounting firm Marks Nelson Vohland Campbell Radetic LLC.

Near the end of the third quarter 2010, airport officials revised its current budget.
Based on recorded and projected enplanements, and after payment to airport bondholders, the airport is scheduling monthly net losses July 2010–April totaling $4.6 million, according to a Sept. 24 updated budget posted to the MSRB Electronic Municipal Market Access.
May is expected to return a $6,025 profit. A breakdown of those figures follows:
  • July 2010, $334,920 loss;
  • August, $376,289 loss;
  • September, $360,975 loss;
  • October, $242,725 loss;
  • November, $384,975 loss;
  • December, $577,975 loss;
  • January 2011, $699,975 loss;
  • February, $677,475 loss;
  • March, $660,475 loss;
  • April $318,975 loss; and
  • May, $6,025 profit.
The airport’s Transportation Development District issued $114 million in municipal bonds to begin building Branson Airport in 2007.

The airport had to draw on its supplemental reserve fund to make two bondholder payments totaling $3.78 million due Jan. 1, 2010, and July 1, 2010, according to a Jan. 3 bondholder notice filed with the municipal securities board, and the airport indicated it might have to again dip into reserve funds for its 2011 debt service on the bonds sold in 2007.

Airport officials reportedly are in talks with bond manager Goldman Sachs and bondholders to restructure the airport’s debt.

Airport and UMB officials entered a confidentiality agreement Nov. 22 to allow the airport to receive nonpublic information regarding restructuring.

The airport reported 72,159 enplanements for 2010 through November, up from 41,725 enplanements May–December 2009.

Jeff Bourk, airport executive director, had said 250,000 enplanements were possible by the end of 2009.

See the Feb. 18 Early Friday edition of Springfield Business Journal or the Feb. 21 print edition for further coverage.
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