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American Shipper

Leases extended for JFK, LaGuardia airports

Leases extended for JFK, LaGuardia airports

   The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reached agreement last week with the City of New York on a new long-term lease for John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports through 2050.

   The agreement still must be approved by the port authority's board of commissioners before it is finalized.

   Under the deal, which ends 10 years of on-again, off-again negotiations, the port authority will pay minimum annual rent of $93.5 million, an increase of $90 million per year above the previous minimum. In addition, the port authority will pay the city $700 million at closing, including a $500-million lump sum plus 2002 and 2003 rents with interest. Over the life the lease the city is set to earn at least $5 billion.

   New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the agreement for the first time gives the city a large role in overseeing management of the airports. An airport board comprised of city and port authority officials will review airport standards, operations and performance.

   The port authority, which is a joint agency of the New York and New Jersey state governments, has operated the two airports for more than 55 years. The original 50-year lease was signed in 1947 and extended to 2015 under an agreement reached in 1965. Negotiations on a lease extension have been contentious at times, with the city arguing that it is not being compensated fairly.

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