N.Y. in airport lease deal with Port Authority

N.Y. in airport lease deal with Port Authority

New York City has struck a leasing deal with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for La Guardia and John F. Kennedy International airports, ending a long-running dispute over rent.

Under the 49-year deal, New York City will receive a minimum lump-sum payment of $500 million and an annual rent payment of at least $93.5 million, up from the current rent of $3.5 million. The rent payment may increase depending on gross revenues at the airports, and the deal is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2002. The Port Authority also agreed to pay a minimum of $14 million a year in lieu of city taxes, an amount that could increase based on the authority's revenue. The current annual payment in lieu of taxes is $1.7 million.

The deal also calls for $140 in capital and mass transit improvements.

Additionally, an advisory board will be created that will allow for joint oversight of airport operations, something that the city had long demanded.

The deal ends affirms the long-term future of the airports, since the Port Authority's previous lease runs out in 2015, and ends a bitter feud between the city and state over the facilities. City officials have long argued that the Port Authority's rent payments did not reflect the true value of the airports and have been pursuing back rent for several years.