DALLAS - Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport plans to refund $203 million of revenue bonds as it continues its $2 billion terminal remodeling project. Proceeds of the series 2014A bonds will be used to refund series 2003 bonds

with maturities from 2014 to 2032. Airport officials expect present value savings of about $7.8 million, or 3.75% of refunded bonds. The 2014A bonds will be fixed rate obligations with final maturity of Nov. 1, 2032.

The refunding bonds carry A-ratings and a stable outlook from Fitch Ratings, and A-plus with a stable outlook from Standard & Poor's. The Moody's Investors Service rating is pending. Previous DFW issues are rated A2 by Moody's with a stable outlook.

"Much of the $2 billion terminal renewal and improvement program as well as another $2.2 billion of airport improvements will be funded by up to $2 billion of additional borrowings," said Fitch analyst Seth Lehman. "While there have been some recent modest upward revisions to the TRIP budget, Fitch currently does not see this development as a material credit concern; however, prudent management of capital spending and borrowings will be critical to credit maintenance."

Mike Phemister, vice president for treasury services at DFW, said the airport management is actively discussing the need for a sixth terminal as remodeling of the four original terminals continues. Traffic is expected to grow from about 62 million passengers per year to more than 70 million by the end of the decade.

Fiscal 2013 operating data indicates positive trends in enplanements, up 3.4% over the prior year, with growth in both domestic and international passengers, according to Fitch. Connecting passengers remain the dominant component of traffic representing 58% of total passengers.

Fort Worth-based American Airlines, including American Eagle and its recently merged US Airways, account for an 82% market share of traffic.

"Even through the recent bankruptcy period followed by the merger with US Airways, American has demonstrated a strong commitment to the Dallas-Fort Worth market and is expected to remain a vital hub for its global network," Lehman said.

The elimination of flight restrictions at nearby City of Dallas' Love Field airport in October is expected to heighten competition, but with only 20 gates, Love Field is not seen as a significant threat to DFW.

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