Credit Rating Agency Unsold on Chicago Airport Revamp Plan

Moody's Investors Service has given a thumbs down to Chicago's plans to expand O'Hare International Airport.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports the investment rating agency on Thursday branded the $8.4 billion project to overhaul O'Hare "credit negative." Moody's contends the project will increase leverage and airline costs above those of other comparable airports, "weakening O'Hare's competitive position and airlines' profitability."

The Chicago City Council has voted to allow the initial borrowing of up to $4 billion for the plan. The proposal would add gates, concourses and an updated international terminal at the airport.

O'Hare currently has $7 billion in outstanding general airport revenue and passenger facility charge debt. Despite that, Chief Financial Officer Carole Brown says the massive expansion plan poses no credit risk either to the airport or the city.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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