Accounting/Financing Working Group

The objective of the Accounting/Financing Working Group is to identify accounting and financial reporting issues which will impact airports, with an underlying goal of developing standard industry best practice approaches to key issues for airports.

Working Group Projects

OPEB Webinar (November 2012) - The Accounting/Financing Working Group saw the need for more members to benefit from the OPEB discussions that took place at the 2012 ACI-NA Annual Conference in Calgary and as such, organised a webinar on the topic. Over 50 participants joined the session, which featured two presentations:

  • Blake R. Rodgers, Practice Fellow of the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) who provided an update on accounting pronouncements on pension accounting, upcoming projects pertaining to OPEB accounting and other current accounting issues; and
  • Max Underwood, Vice President of Finance, Dallas/Fort-Worth International Airport who reported on the findings of the ACI-NA Pension and OPEB Survey.

Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Update (September 2012) - The Accounting/Financing Working Group kept airports informed of the recent changes to government accounting standards especially as it relates to financial reporting for pension and OPEB. The working group has also invited Blake R. Rodgers, Practice Fellow, Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) to provide GASB Update about current exposure draft on pension and OPEB accounting during the working group meeting in Calgary.

Pension/Other Post Employment Benefit Survey (June - September 2012) -  The Accounting/Financing Working Group revised the 2009 Survey on Other Post Employment Benefit (OPEB) and added additional questions related to pension. The survey was pre-tested by DFW airport before launch on July 17. A total of 62 responses have been received, representing 77 airports. The results will be presented at the working group meeting in Calgary on September 9th. 

Analysis in Estimating the Cost of Tax Exemption for Airport Bonds (June - August 2012) At the request of ACI-NA Government Affairs, two of the Finance Committee associate representatives – Ira Smelkinson of Morgan Stanley and John Coan of Piper Jaffray conducted an analysis estimating the cost impact to the US Treasury associated with the ability of US airports to issue tax exempt bonds. The analysis considered AMT airport bonds, non-AMT airport bonds, and the Build America Bonds. The analysis estimated the total subsidy related to tax exempt interest on airport bonds to be $7.3 billion over the period from 2011 through 2015.

Accounting and Finance working group meeting in Nashville (April 2012) - The Accounting/Financing Working Group met at the ACI-NA Airport Economics and Human Capital Conference in Nashville, TN. They received a briefing on the latest Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) statements from Richard Wittgren of BKD, LLP. Wittgren also shared with the working group many recent common issues related to financial reporting in the airport industry.

The working group also heard from Patrick Dalton, Director of Internal Audit, Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority and President, Association of Airport Internal Auditors. Dalton briefed the working group on how a good internal auditing program can significantly reduce fraud and waste in airport non-aeronautical activities. 

Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) briefing (October 2011) - The Accounting/Financing Working Group met in San Diego in conjunction with the ACI-NA Annual Conference and Exhibition. They received a briefing on the latest Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) updates. The group also decided to adopt a policy in regards to airport cash policies, recommending that airports have such policies in place but not specifying their precise terms. Airports who have written policies in place were urged to submit them as examples to post in the Finance Committee Resource Center on the ACI-NA website.

Finance Webinar (June 5, 2009) - Recently, the working group held an informative and educational webinar on the “Municipal Market Trends and Perspectives for U.S. Airports”. The webinar gave an overview of the airline and airport industry, a summary of the municipal bond market and recent bond transactions. The webinar attracted over 60 members from airports and the private sector. To access the webinar presentation, please click on the following link: Municipal Market Trends and Perspectives for U.S. Airports.

Other Post Employment Benefits Survey: A survey was conducted in March 2009 on Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB). The survey collected information on what post retirement benefits airports offer, who pays for those benefits, and how airports are responding to the specific requirements listed in GASB 45. The survey showed a wide range of benefits offered and ways of allocating costs. GASB 45 will lead to more reporting and more discussion of the OPEB costs. The survey result was presented at the Working Group meeting held in Seattle and will be further discussed at the 3rd CFO Summit in July 21 - 22, 2009. The survey result was presented at the Working Group meeting held in Seattle and will be further discussed at the CFO Summit in July 21 - 22, 2009. Preliminary results are posted on the Finance Committee Resource Center. Please note you must be a member of the ACI-NA Finance Committee and have the resource center password to access that webpage. Please contact Liying Gu ( for further information.

Investor Relations: The Working Group invited a speaker from the investment community for the first time - Fidelity Investment to speak at the Committee meeting as well as an educational session during the Economics and Finance Conference in April 2009. Denver International Airport was identified as having the best investor relations webpage and was invited to make presentation at the 3rd CFO Summit.

ACRP # 01-10 Capital Projects: Budgeting, Financing, and Management – Best Practices and IT Applications: The working group submitted an Airport Cooperative Research Program(ACRP) problem statement in April 2008 and it was accepted by the TRB ACRP Oversight Committee. The purpose of this project is to research into the development of a handbook consisting of current best practices related to all phases of capital project management. The project also includes the development of an IT application for easier access of the handbook by the airport industry.