First Privatized Airport In U.S.?

Midway Airport may become the first U.S. airport to be privatized if the 99-year lease for $2.52 billion is approved by the City Council and F.A.A., following in the footsteps of privatizing the Chicago Skyway toll road in 2005.

"Midway Airport may make airport history as the first airport to be privatized after an investment group composed of two domestic and one Canadian companies bid $2.52 billion to win rights to a long-term lease.

Almost all commercial airports in the United States are owned and operated by local or state governments. However, Midway is eligible for leasing because Chicago applied to the F.A.A. to take part in an experimental program begun about 12 years ago to explore privatization as a means to generate capital for improvements.

As the first privatization of a major American airport, this transaction will provide unprecedented benefits for the traveling public, the airlines and the taxpayers of Chicago," Mayor Richard M. Daley said Tuesday at a news conference here."

Thanks to Mark Boshnack

Full Story: In Chicago, Private Firm Is to Run Midway Airport

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