Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority to A3 from A2.
The downgrade on Dec. 22 affects $119 million of outstanding general airport revenue bonds sold for Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro. The outlook is stable.
“The rating downgrade reflects the competitive landscape in which the Piedmont Triad Airport operates with nearby Charlotte Airport and Raleigh-Durham Airport providing more robust and less expensive flight options,” said a report by analyst Kristina Alagar Cordero.
Other rating factors include fewer enplanements, a “dramatically reduced yet still healthy” liquidity position, and a debt profile that is “significantly” exposed to interest-rate risk, Cordero said. The authority’s variable-rate bonds account for 56% of outstanding debt.
Enplanements at Piedmont Triad have declined from a high of nearly 1.4 million over the last five years to a lower level that has stabilized at approximately 900,000, according to Cordero.
“The stable outlook is based on Moody’s expectation that enplanement levels will continue to generate revenues that support current debt service coverage levels and that liquidity will remain strong and get replenished as an offset to the high amount of variable-rate debt and lack of debt service reserves,” Cordero said.