By Bob Weiss, Travel Contributor

BOSTON (CBS) –  July 1 marks the start of the new fiscal year for the Massachusetts Port Authority and it looks like a busy one.

The Massport Board has approved a budget of $592 million, which will be an increase of 2.5 percent over this past 12 months. Logan Airport expects passenger traffic to be up about two percent. 2013 calendar numbers are expected to exceed 30 million for the first time.

About 70 percent of the budget, more than $400 million, will go to fund aviation, maritime and real estate operations.

New international air routes from Boston continue to be a major focus of Massport. On July 11, Copa Airlines will begin daily service to Panama, connecting on to major destinations in South America. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has resumed daily flights from Boston to Tokyo.

These two routes alone are expected to carry 100,000 passengers in the next 12 months generating more than $200 million for the local economy.

The next targets for international flights are the airlines serving China and the Middle East.

The Worcester Airport, now operated by Massport, will get a major boost on November 7 when JetBlue Airways starts service from that airport to Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando.

JetBlue is the number one airline at Logan Airport with about 23 percent of flyers out of Logan choosing JetBlue. Next year, JetBlue may face more competition as American and US Airways merge their operations. Combined, their share of the business will equal that of JetBlue.

New York-based JetBlue will celebrate their 10th anniversary at Logan Airport in early January.

In September, Massport is scheduled to open its new consolidated rental car facility at Logan. A new dedicated bus route will replace about 90 vehicles operated by the rent-a-car companies.

Massport will continue to offer free MBTA Silver Line bus service from all terminals at Logan. It will also invest in a new high occupancy “ride share” pilot program inside of Route 128 to the airport.

When you think of Massport, you think of the airport.

It should be noted that the Authority has built two major parks in east Boston and has budgeted $3 million for their upkeep in fiscal 2014.

Bob Weiss reports on business travel on Mondays at 5:55 a.m. on WBZ NewsRadio 1030.


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