Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee

Scope of Study

Bradley International Airport

Bradley International Airport was created in 1981. It is linked to the Department of Transportation, but operated as a separate revenue-producing enterprise. The airport's FY 99 operating expenses were projected to be $36 million and revenues estimated to be $47.8 million. The state's Enterprise Fund is the mechanism through which Bradley's finances are handled. The surplus in the airport's operating budget is used to pay obligations and fund reserves required by the issuance of bonds. Bradley's operating budget is set by the Department of Transportation and the secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and is not subject to legislative approval.

Bradley International Airport has experienced increased activity between the mid-1980s and late-1990s. The number of passengers using the airport rose from 4.2 million in 1986 to 5.6 million in 1998, an increase of 33 percent. Similarly, the amount of freight handled rose from 47,700 tons to 142,000 tons during the same period, an increase of nearly 200 percent.

Over the past few years, much attention has been given to Bradley International Airport's potential role in promoting economic development in the region. The latest study, the Schiphol report, issued in November 1999, made a series of recommendations concerning Bradley's role in the economic development area, many of which would require legislative change. A number of the recommendations are considered controversial, and the program review committee believes further analysis is required before actions are taken.

Area of Focus

The purpose of the study is to determine if Bradley International Airport is optimally meeting the economic development objectives of Connecticut. If the study determines it is not, the study will identify the reasons why, and make recommendations for realizing Bradley International Airport's economic development potential.

Areas of Analysis

I. Governance of Bradley international Airport

II. Planning for Bradley International Airport

III. Management of Bradley International Airport

IV. Competitiveness of Bradley International Airport

V. Review of other studies