Muni Minute: Chicago O'Hare Prepared for Takeoff

In the latest installment of The Bond Buyer’s Muni Minute, we take a look at Chicago O'Hare International Airport's upcoming $1 billion deal, which is just one part of a three-pronged plan to modernize the nation's second largest airport.

VOICE OVER: Chicago is preparing to take flight into the bond market this week with more than a billion dollar refunding of O'Hare International Airport debt, and it's only the tip of the iceberg as a series of three airport borrowings that are planned this year. The general airport revenue bond sale is expected to generate $111 million in savings easing pressures on airline costs as the nation's second largest airport embarks on modernization projects.

The city and key airlines reached agreement earlier this year on the next $1.3 billion phase of the decade old O'Hare Modernization Program, providing clearance for a final runway and new gates to keep the airport that serves 34 million passengers yearly running smoothly. Despite the headline risk Chicago's name carries, the solid A rated airport paper offers one of the city's more digestible revenue credits that is generally shielded from the city's pension ills.

The city returns in late November with $1.2 billion of new money GARBs to finance projects and expects a third trip by year's end with $500 million of O'Hare paper backed by passenger facility charges. I'm Aaron Weitzman and this has been your Muni Minute.