Latest bonds for $5.1 billion Salt Lake City airport project are approved


The Salt Lake City Council late Tuesday approved the issuance of up to $600 million of bonds for an ongoing $5.1 billion project to substantially replace landside and terminal complex facilities at the city’s airport.

The council’s resolution also sets a June 6 public hearing on the bonds, which will be priced the week of July 17 in a deal led by BofA Securities and J.P. Morgan. Airport officials said they expect to only issue about $450 million of bonds with a likely final maturity in 2053 and an assumed interest rate of 5%.

Salt Lake City International Airport officials said they expect the bond deal, slated to price in July, to total only about $450 million and have a likely final maturity in 2053.

Salt Lake City International Airport

“If for any reason we get to the bond market and rates are above 6%, we’ll kill the deal,” Department of Airports Chief Financial Officer Brian Butler said during a presentation to the city council last week. 

A draft preliminary official statement indicates there will be bonds subject to the alternative minimum tax and non-AMT tax-exempt debt.

The city has issued $2.75 billion of bonds for the Salt Lake City International Airport project since 2017, according to the presentation. The airport anticipates further issuances totaling nearly $461 million in 2024 and $400 million in 2026.

Co-managers in the upcoming deal are Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Ramirez & Company, Siebert Williams Shank & Company, and Wells Fargo Securities. Bond counsel is Kutak Rock, disclosure counsel is Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell, and financial advisor is PFM Financial Advisors.

Also on Tuesday, the airport unveiled a completed portion of Concourse A-east with five operating gates for Delta Air Lines.

An additional four gates on the south side of Concourse A-east are expected to be in use in August, while the remaining 13 gates, as well as 19 restaurants and shops, will open on Oct. 31, according to an airport statement.

Other than the eastern half of Concourse A, a terminal redevelopment program was completed and opened in September 2020. Work on a 47-gate midfield concourse is ongoing, with 21 gates operational as of October 2020.

“Ground was broken on this project in 2014 and we expect to conclude the current scope of work in January of 2027,” Airports Executive Director Bill Wyatt said during last week’s city council presentation.

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