Under the budget, the port has set aside $102.9 million for capital projects, with a focus on upgrading infrastructure and ensuring regulatory compliance.
The spending plan also allows the port to be more nimble in the face of uncertainty, officials say. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging one for Oakland, and while the port has seen record numbers on the maritime side of its business, its aviation and commercial real estate segments have been affected. The latter two are rebounding, but not quickly enough to remove revenue uncertainty, port officials say.
“Despite record cargo volumes at the Oakland seaport, we are being cautious with the budget increase considering that aviation passenger traffic is still projected to be short of pre-pandemic levels,” Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan explained.
The port, which owns and runs Oakland International Airport, anticipates that business to reach about 55% of its FY 2019 levels.
“Our budget strategy is to maintain long-term financial strength, resiliency, and prioritize and plan for major capital projects,” Executive Director Wan stated. “We aim to control increases in operating expenses while expanding our investment in capital infrastructure.”