Moody's Investors Service has assigned an A3 rating to the New Orleans Aviation Board, LA's approximately $40 million General Airport Revenue Bonds Series 2017A, approximately $320 million General Airport Revenue Bond Series 2017B and $48.9 million 2017C General Airport Revenue Refunding Bonds. Moody's has also assigned an A3 rating to the $4.3 million Series 2017D-1 and $53.1 million Series 2017D-2 General Airport Revenue Refunding Bonds. Simultaneously, Moody's has affirmed the A3 rating on the currently outstanding parity General Airport Revenue Bonds (GARBs) in the amount of approximately $639 million. The outlook is stable.
The A3 rating is based on steadily growing passenger traffic and revenues; strong liquidity levels; and the financial stability provided by the residual rate-making methodology under the current airline agreement. The rating also reflects the addition of a large amount of debt to finance the new terminal, and Moody's expectation that the increased debt burden will be balanced by stable financial metrics derived from growing passenger enplanements.
The stable outlook is based on Moody's expectation that enplanement levels will continue to grow over the next several years and that capital improvement costs will not excessively encumber airport general revenues.