The city of Atlanta issued $707 million in bonds on behalf of its largest airport to expand a concourse and make other improvements.
The bonds, issued for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), were sold in seven series. They received a rating of Aa3 from Moody’s Investors Service, AA- from Fitch Ratings, and AA+ from Kroll Bond Rating Agency.
Fitch said that rating reflects ATL’s “leading position as the world’s busiest airport” and that its “importance to both the national air traffic system and to Delta’s network provide comfort that traffic will continue to rebound.”
The airport is the world’s busiest by number of passengers flown, according to Airports Council International (ACI), an industry group. The airport is also the largest hub for Delta Airlines.
The bonds will finance the widening of Concourse D, which is expected to take six years and cost $1.4 billion. They will also fund a new parking garage and a fire station, among other projects that are included in the airport’s capital plan, which calls for more than $10 billion in spending through fiscal year 2029.
The improvements come as national demand for air travel returns to prepandemic levels, putting pressure on airports and their infrastructure to support that traffic. The airport’s passenger volume reached 93.7 million last year, according to ACI. In 2019, the airport transported 111 million passengers.
BofA Securities, Inc served as lead underwriter on the issuance, purchasing the bonds for $759 million. The price reflected a premium of more than $50 million.