BOSTON – The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) today voted to approve a Business Plan and Budget for Fiscal Year 2016 of $667 million. The budget reflects Massport’s commitment to key areas including: Safety and security at its facilities, customer service at Logan, attracting new international and domestic service at Logan and the Port of Boston to propel the region’s economic growth, 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.
About 67 percent of the budget -- $446.8 million, a four percent increase over the previous year – 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 includes an increase in snow removal operations and the staffing and equipping an aircraft firefighting operation at Hanscom Field. Some $220 million -- a three percent increase over last year -- will go to the capital program to properly maintain the runways, terminals, roadways and docks that support the regional economy, and make payments to Massport’s bond holders.
Safety and security are the top priority of Massport and the Authority will spend more than $78 million in personnel, technology, training and inspections to keep the people who use and who work at our facilities safe.
“Massport is making critical investments to increase safety and security and customer service by hiring more firefighters and customer service employees,’’ said Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn. “Our overall headcount is below where it was in 2000. This comes as Logan is handling more passengers flying to more destinations than at any time in the history of the airport.’’
Promoting the use of high occupancy vehicles to and from the airport is critical for environmental reasons and to ensure traffic can flow on airport roadways and there is space at the terminal curbs for vehicles. As part of the budget, Massport will spend nearly $40 million on HOV access programs. Among the programs: continue to offer free Silver Line service from the airport to South Station. In addition, Massport will spend $5 million on the mid-life rehabilitation of eight Silver Line buses which connect the airport to the Red Line and Commuter Rail at South Station. With a new $34 million 1,100 space parking garage opening this year, operating costs at the facility will increase by $800,000.
The budget calls for $26 million to be spent in being a good neighbor by supporting summer jobs, donating to community causes and spending $20 million in payments in lieu of taxes to Boston, Winthrop as well as supporting the city of Chelsea. More than $5 million will be spent maintaining and growing the park system Massport operates in East Boston and South Boston.
Massport will increase hourly and monthly parking rates in South Boston, which is expected to add $245,000 in new revenue. Monthly parking rates will be up to $300, still below monthly rates in other area parking facilities. Hourly rates will rise by $1 or $2 depending on length of stay, and the daily parking rate will be $32.
Boston Logan, 15 minutes from the intersection of Route 128 and I-90 and five minutes from downtown Boston, serves as the gateway to the New England region and offers nonstop service to 75 domestic and 33 international destinations and in 2012 handled 29.3 million passengers. Boston Logan is the Air Line Pilot Association’s Airport of the Year for 2008 because of its commitment to safety. Over the past decade, the airport spent $4.5 billion on a modernization program that includes new terminals, parking facilities, roadways and airport concessions, and has been transformed into a world-class 21st Century facility. The airport generates $7 billion in total economic impact each year.