S&P lifts part of MNAA rating

Ratings group keeps airport operator's outlook at stable

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has raised its long-term rating on some of the revenue bonds issued by the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, citing a variety of positive developments at the operator of Music City's two largest airports.

S&P analysts now rate the MNAA's improvement revenue bonds, which were issued for Nashville International Airport, at 'A+' versus 'A' previously. The move affects $134 million of the airport authority's $199 million in outstanding debt. The ratings agency also affirmed the long-term rating on MNAA's 2010 series of special facility revenue bonds issued to fund the consolidated rental car facility at BNA project as well as its rating on the series 2008A bonds. The firm's outlook on all of the MNAA's ratings is stable.

S&P's analysts said their upgrade was due in part to the airport's strong competitive position, higher passenger counts as well as its falling debt burden and low airline costs.

"The raising of MNAA's bond rating underscores continued passenger growth, increased visitor and convention traffic to Nashville and responsible fiscal management of our airports," said Rob Wigington, president and CEO of the MNAA. "Our financial stability helps ensure we are able to continue delivering greater air service to more destinations to improve the economic vitality and quality of life of Nashville and the Middle Tennessee region."