S&P boosts Dayton airport’s outlook

Dayton International Airport is celebrating a boosted outlook from S&P Global Ratings, signaling more confidence in the airport’s future.

In a statement earlier this month, S&P Global Ratings said it had revised its outlook to “stable” from “negative” and affirmed a “BBB+’ rating on James M. Cox Dayton International Airport (DAY).

“The outlook revision reflects our view that DAY’s enplanement levels are stabilizing after year-over-year declines since 2013,” S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Kevin Archer said in S&P’s statement. “In addition, we expect the airport to maintain debt service coverage … at levels we would consider at least adequate.”

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A city of Dayton press release Tuesday S&P’s assessment “reflects DAY’s very strong service area economic fundamentals, low industry risk, vulnerable market position and strong management and governance.”

The city acknowledged its challenges, noting that the airport’s passenger enplanement levels have declined since 2013 due to regional competition “dominating the market share.”

Total enplanements last year declined to 899,000, from a year-end 950,620 in 2017 and 1,035,263 in 2016.

But the city also said DAY’s “strong origin and destination nature is predicted to stabilize enplanements at 900,000 in 2019 before increasing on average 1.5 each year through 2022.”

“This really speaks to the power we have here as a community,” Terry Slaybaugh, DAY director, said in the city’s statement. “Not only do we have a phenomenal terminal that’s easy to navigate, but Dayton’s excellent economy and people have given the future of our airport new light.”

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