The YRA board finalized its more than $3 million budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year last week.
Operating revenues are expected to increase at the airport by $126,429, but overall revenue is still expected to drop by $640,948, largely due to a 14 percent reduction in grant funding. In all, the airport expects to incur $313,065 less revenue than expenses, a nearly $40,000 larger shortfall from the previous year. In contrast this shortfall barely grew from 2017-18 to 18-19. What typically balances YRA’s budget is funding from outside sources.
“The airport typically has a deficit annually and the city and county split that 60-40 accordingly,” city council and airport board member Heidi Rasmussen said.
YRA can still expect $213,339 from the City of Cody this year – a $28,974 increase from last year. The county will also contribute 12 percent more than last year at $132,226.
“Our funding back-fills from year to year,” Bucky Hall, YRA board chairman, said. “This happened to be one of the higher years.”
YRA will additionally receive $548,889 from the state’s Wyoming Aviation Capital Improvement Program. These funds will go towards extending the airport’s access road and parking lot, and providing improvements to seal coat, pavements and overall design. The airport is planning for $24 million in WACIP funds through 2038.
The airport anticipates $3.06 million in expenses this next year with operating costs expected to rise by $75,518. Hall said this increase is primarily due to a new employee pay plan that will offer raises and a busy airport summer which may draw many hours of staff overtime, with overall wages to increase by $40,735. Also contributing to the red will be a $11,000 increase in utilities and $12,000 more in health plan benefits.
The airport will be able to utilize $112,500 in Passenger Facility Charge funds this year. Passengers pay PFC’s to the airlines within their ticket fee, which is remitted to the airport of departure and arrival.
The airport also received $8,000 in grants for marketing.
On June 4 Yellowstone Regional Airport General Manager Bob Hooper was put on semi-paid leave by the board for an unspecified disciplinary reasons. Exact reasons for the suspension were not made public, but Hall said an outside law firm was brought in to conduct an investigation. After three executive sessions, Hooper was put on a month-long suspension and returned to work Tuesday.
Within the new fiscal plan the YRA board budgeted for Hooper to continue making the same $90,592 including benefits.