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S&P Global Ratings Raises Rhode Island Airport Corp facility Bond RATING To ‘A’

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Warwick, RI – May 2, 2023 – S&P Global Ratings announced that it has raised its rating on first-lien special facility revenue bonds issued for Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) through the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation to ‘A’ from ‘BBB+’ with a stable outlook.  The new rating action reflects S&P’s assessment of the recovery in Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport’s (PVD) passenger traffic and the strong rebound in air travel.

“We appreciate S&P’s affirmation of RIAC strong metrics of low cost, increasing enplanements, and excellent liquidity,” said Iftikhar Ahmad, President and CEO of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation.  “We are thankful to all among our state’s leadership who have worked in partnership with us to help our aviation-related economy grow and prosper.” 

  • the second time this year that S&P has increased bond ratings for RIAC. In January 2023, S&P announced that it raised its long-term rating and underlying rating for RIAC to ‘A’ from ‘A-‘ with a stable outlook on Rhode Island Commerce Corporation’s general airport revenue bonds.  Key credit strengths cited by S&P at the time included RIAC’s:
  • Very strong management and governance, with a good track record of operating the major lines of business and managing risk, as evidenced by high liquidity, conservative budgeting, and meeting financial targets;
  • Very strong liquidity and financial flexibility, with several years of rising liquidity levels, reaching $85.5 million in unrestricted cash and equivalents at fiscal year-end 2022; and,
  • Very strong debt and liability capacity, with a manageable capital improvement plan and no additional debt needs in the near term.

“RIAC’s team has been working tirelessly to strengthen the long-term financial standing of the airport corporation,” Jonathan Savage, chair of RIAC’s Board of Directors.  “It is gratifying to see this hard work paying dividends in improved bond ratings.”

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About the Rhode Island Airport Corporation: The Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) was formed on December 9, 1992 as a semi-autonomous subsidiary of the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation to operate and maintain the state’s airport system. The powers of the corporation are vested in its seven-member board of directors, all of whom are appointed by the governor. RIAC is responsible for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the six state-owned airports, and the supervision of all civil airports, landing areas, navigation facilities, aviation schools and flying clubs. In addition to Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport, RIAC is responsible for five general aviation airports throughout the state: Block Island, Newport, North Central, Quonset and Westerly. For more information visit RIAC at https://www.flyri.com.

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