Aerial View of Orange County

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Featured Bond – Week of April 29, 2019: Orange County California $85 Million in Airport Revenue Refunding Bonds for John Wayne Airport


The County of Orange, California is set to issue Airport Revenue Refunding Bonds Series 2019A and Series 2019B for John Wayne Airport. The purpose of the bonds is to refund and defease the County’s outstanding Airport Revenue Bonds Series 2009A and Series 2009B. Proceeds will also be used to fund a Debt Service Reserve Fund and pay cost of issuance.

The Bonds have a scheduled pricing date of Tuesday April 30 with Morgan Stanley as the underwriter for the sale. S&P assigns a rating of AA-.

About Orange County & John Wayne Airport

John Wayne Airport benefits from the strong local economy of Orange County. Orange County is the 6th largest county in the United States. They continually have high income levels well above CA and national medians, and low unemployment levels well below CA rates. There are many major tourist destinations that bring visitors into the airport and the County, the major one being Disneyland.

The Airport is the only commercial service airport in Orange County. John Wayne Airport operates at a level that is agreed upon with the community surrounding the Airport. There is currently a 10.8 million annual passenger limit in place through 2020. The airport consistently sees numbers near this limit amount. The Airport has already agreed upon raising this number for January 1, 2021, and again on January 1, 2026. John Wayne airport has a diverse mix of carriers and has a current waiting list for carriers wanting additional gate space, and a waiting list for new airlines wishing to serve the Airport. Operating Revenues have had a compound annual growth rate of 3.1% from FY2014 to FY2018. This is equivalent to a $15.7 million Operating Revenue increase since FY2014. The Airport maintains a stable cost per enplaned passenger of about $10.

Security for the Bonds

The 2019 Bonds are limited obligations of the County. They are secured and payable solely from the net revenues of John Wayne airport. They are tax-exempt and non-AMT. The airport will also contribute approximately $26.1 million in cash to the refunding in order to retire the debt early. Refunding will reduce the Airport’s Outstanding debt by around $47 million and shorten the final maturity of 2039 to 2030. After this transaction, the Series 2019A and Series 2019B Bonds will be the Airport’s only bonds outstanding.

The bonds are rated AA- by S&P.


These details and more on purposes, security, risks and other matters pertaining to these County of Orange, CA Airport Revenue Refunding bonds can the found in the official statement, provided by MuniOS. After registering, if needed, visitors can link directly to the official statement as well as an investor’s roadshow by searching for the County of Orange.

Statistical Snapshot: John Wayne Airport Selected Financial and Economic Indicators

John Wayne Airport statistical snapshot

John Wayne Airport financial snapshot as of June 30, 2018 Fiscal Year Audit. Source: Merritt Research Services, LLC

Provided above is a quick snapshot of financial characteristics of the John Wayne Airport along with the medians for other airports of all sizes, courtesy of Merritt Research Services, LLC. Merritt has many of the sector medians publicly available and regularly updated on their Benchmark Central  page. (Merritt believes the data to be reliable but does not make any representations as to its accuracy or completeness).


 In addition to the Merritt information related to the featured bond, more information can be found on our municipal bond calendarcity, state, and county pages.

These facts and numbers are for informational purposes, and should not be considered an official disclosure for potential investors. Investors should consult the official statement. None of the information provided should be construed as a recommendation by MuniNet Guide, MuniNet LLC, Merritt Research Services LLC, or any of their employees. Information and analysis is for informational purposes only.  

Potential investors should rely only on the official documents and figures provided in the official statement (prospectus).  Although the numbers presented in this summary are primarily derived from public documents, including issuer audits, issuer reports and other public sources such as federal reporting agencies ,  they are not intended to replace official information presented in connection with the bond sale. Medians may differ from official sales documents due to methodology or survey base variances.