Winner for NY airport deal

New York’s Westchester County has selected a firm to operate Westchester Airport.

Macquarie has been awarded the $1.1bn deal to manage, operate, maintain and improve the airport in accordance with an FAA program. The next step is for Macquarie and members of the County Executive’s staff to finalize the lease and send it to the Board of Legislators for its review. The lease requires 12 votes for passage.

HPN Aviation Group, a joint venture between Oaktree Transportation and Connor Capital Transportation Opportunities, ranked second, and FerroStar Westchester Airport Partners, a consortium made up of Ferrovial Airports and Star America Fund, placed third.

HPN Aviation received a slightly higher grade than Macquarie for its financial offer, which came in at $626m to the county versus Macquarie’s $595m. But Macquarie committed to a significantly higher amount of capital improvements, $550m versus $271m for HPN Aviation, and Macquarie’s technical scores were also higher at 107 versus 96. The result was that all six members of the task force recommended Macquarie.

Under the terms of the lease, the county will receive just over $300m up front, which includes lease payments, money transferred to the general fund from county money locked at the airport and various reimbursements.

Macquarie’s winning proposal will net the county $1.145bn over the course of a 40-year lease: a $595m financial offer accompanied by $550m in capital funds to maintain and improve the airport’s infrastructure.

County executive Robert Astorino said  “By receiving money up front and then spreading payments over the course of the lease, the county has created a guaranteed revenue stream of more than $6 million a year to pay for county services”.

The selection process was run by Frasca & Associates.