The governor is calling senators into a special session at 10 a.m. today on a bill that would authorize the A.B. Won Pat Guam International Airport Authority to refinance its debts owed to bond investors.
The proposed refinancing is the airport’s way of making up for the shortfall in travelers and the revenues they bring.
“The reduction in (air travelers) from an average of 5,000 per day to 5,000 per month has negatively impacted airport finances and requires swift action to ensure our airport weathers this storm of uncertainty,” the governor stated.
The airport received $20.7 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act money from the federal government earlier this year. Airport Executive Manager John Quinata said during a hearing about two weeks ago that they’ve used most of that money.
The airport lost $30 million in revenues in fiscal year 2020, which ended in October.
CARES Act money was used to cover airport expenses and retain employees. Quinata told senators it won’t be enough to cover the shortfall in the current fiscal year.
The governor noted that GIAA has taken steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within its facilities. GIAA has installed thermal screening points at its terminal building, installed transparent barriers at all passenger processing points, increased cleaning frequency and intensity, and installed touchless technology in restrooms.
Bill 429-35 is intended to help the airport by authorizing it to refinance its existing debt to reduce the amount it has to repay. The bill doesn’t provide the outstanding amount of the revenue bonds.