San Bernardino International Airport still has no carrier deal.

10:21 PM PDT on Wednesday, June 23, 2010

By KIMBERLY PIERCEALL
The Press-Enterprise

San Bernardino International Airport expects to operate at a loss of about $4.9 million when its fiscal year starts July 1, according to the budget approved Wednesday.

That’s also assuming an airline would bring in $2.5 million in revenue. So far, no airline has chosen to land at the airport despite the terminal being essentially complete.

An Inland Valley Development Agency grant would offset the shortfall. Airport officials anticipate IVDA supporting the airport financially for several years.

Bill Ingraham, the aviation director at San Bernardino Airport, said the budget shows that the agencies are able to pay for the full costs of operating the airport based on assumed revenues and expenditures. That includes $550,000 the agency has separated into its own marketing category to promote routes and airline service to potential passengers if an airline agrees to provide service.

“We may spend less, we may spend more,” Ingraham said. “We need to show airlines that we have the ability to sell service in our area.”

For the next fiscal year, airport managers budgeted $3.5 million to add solar power to the terminal, $1.5 million for an airport maintenance facility, $4.6 million for an airfield electrical project and $975,000 for drainage, a total of $10.6 million in capital improvements. The total could run lower since the electrical project was awarded to a low bidder for $2 million.

Airport officials have high expectations that an airline will arrive with regular commercial service in the next fiscal year. There’s always a chance that may not happen but, “It’s so close I can feel it,” Ingraham said.

In its deal with Million Air San Bernardino, the fixed-base operation that manages the $20 million terminal, the company won’t start paying rent for the first five months of the fiscal year. After that, Million Air will pay 50 percent of its rental rate for four months at two of its facilities at the airport and full rent thereafter. For the next fiscal year, those seven months could total $644,080 in revenue for the airport, according to the budget.

In addition, the Inland Valley Development Agency, a group of elected officials overseeing redevelopment of about 15,000 acres at the former Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino since 1990, expects to operate at a total $19.5 million deficit in a the next fiscal year.

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