City stands to gain $323M from new SFO airline leases 

Twenty-five new airline leases are expected to sink $323 million into The City’s general fund during the next 10 years, and a new ATM deal nets the airport itself about $1 million per year.

The Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee praised San Francisco International Airport on Monday for its 25 new 10-year leases, from July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2021, and sent them to the full board for approval.

“Our compliments to the airport,” Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi said. “Obviously this is another budget season where the tale of woe dominates our attention. It is really from heartfelt gratitude and our recognition of the airport’s strong rebound that it’s nice to pepper these recognitions amid this season.”

Airport Director John Martin said he was “very proud” of the “successful negotiations with the airlines.” During the 10 years, The City’s general fund would receive $323 million as a result of the leases. The leases would bring the airport $3.9 billion in rent from the airlines.

“We’re the only airport in the country that has this kind of deal, and the general fund is a great beneficiary of this substantial income,” Martin said.

Nineteen of the 25 proposed agreements are for airlines that currently have a lease with the airport. The other six airlines are Emirates, Frontier, KLM Royal Dutch, Southwest, TACA and Virgin Atlantic. The airlines pay the same rental rate for use of the airport space, but each one’s payments vary depending on how much space is occupied.

The committee also approved and sent to the full board leases with Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase banks to operate the airport’s 22 ATMs.

“So it’s Wells Fargo or JPMorgan? So if you are a Bank of America or you are somebody else, you got to pay your fee?” Supervisor Sean Elsbernd said.

The answer: Yes. However, the lease ensures the surcharge is $1.50, whereas some banks charge up to $3 for use of ATMs by noncustomers.

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