The Commonwealth Ports Authority is expected to achieve a debt service coverage ratio of 335 percent and 135 percent coverage for the airport and seaport respectively, according to comptroller Derek Sasamoto.
He informed the CPA board about this positive development last Friday, adding that both projected ratios exceed the required debt service coverage.
Sasamoto said the airport's good ratio is anticipated despite the increase in operational cost during the 12-month period in fiscal year 2012.
It was revealed that the airport incurred excess spending of about $200,000 last fiscal year when it spent $9.3 million compared to the $9.1 million that was budgeted. Sasamoto told members that the $200,000 “excess” in spending was due to needed repairs, maintenance, and professional services for the airport.
Saipan Tribune learned that in fiscal year 2012, the airport earned over $3.1 million, which is higher than what was projected at $2.4 million. However, operating expenses reached $2.4 million, exceeding the $2.2 million projection due to repairs and maintenance, among other reasons.
For seaports, Sasamoto disclosed that cost controls allowed the seaports to slightly exceed a budgeted debt service ratio of 130 percent-compared to the 135 percent expected coverage for fiscal year 2012.
Board members were also informed that revenues for seaports went down last fiscal year. Seaport revenues have been declining for the past years due to a decrease in the volume of the imports and exports within the CNMI.
Saipan Tribune learned that seaport revenues last fiscal year was at $6 million, the bulk of which came from the Saipan seaport.
Sasamoto reminded the board that CPA, having no control on exportation and importation issues that drive seaport revenues, must leverage all it can to control its expenditure costs.
He also reported Friday the recent ratings received by CPA from Fitch Ratings pertaining to an airport bond. The global rating agency has affirmed CPA's rate from “stable” to “positive” outlook due to the progress it made in its financials.