Following its annual review, Standard & Poor’s Financial Services (S&P) has strengthened HIAA’s credit rating to AA-, an upgrade from its longstanding rating of A+. S&P, the world’s foremost provider of independent credit ratings, indicated its outlook on Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA) is stable.
S&P indicated that the AA- rating and stable outlook reflect the airport authority’s consistent and improving debt metrics, stand-alone credit profile, and capital plan that will require a moderate use of credit lines over the next two years. According to the review, “HIAA’s very strong management and governance characteristics have allowed it to consistently meet its operational and financial goals. We believe the management team has considerable expertise and experience.”
“Everyone at the airport authority and within the airport community should be proud of this achievement,” says Joyce Carter, HIAA President & CEO. “We’re pleased that S&P has enhanced its credit rating for HIAA and recognized our continued growth and financial stability. As one of the most critical pieces of transportation infrastructure and an economic engine in Atlantic Canada, this is exceptional news for our region.”
In its report, S&P highlighted that the stable outlook reflects its expectation that HIAA’s capital plan will not require bond issuances in the next two years and that a moderate use of credit lines will result in stable debt service coverage.
These results are predicated on HIAA’s continued strong financial profile which S&P believes will continue in 2018 and 2019. “This AA- credit rating is a reflection of our ongoing prudent fiscal management and steady record of growth. We’ll continue to work with partners and stakeholders to expand air service for our community and improve the passenger experience in a sustainable manner,” says Paul Brigley, HIAA Chief Financial Officer.
Management of Halifax Stanfield was transferred from the federal government to the airport authority in 2000. Since that time, HIAA has invested approximately $600 million to expand and redevelop the airport.