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Juan Rodriguez

Second Attempt to Privatize Chicago's Airport

By January 12, 2013

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Chicago Airport

Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, is announcing a second attempt to privatize Midway Airport under a Private Public Partnership. The P3 is based on a 40 year lease program that will put on Chicago's government some cash to pay off the airport's $1.4 billion debt. The city is also forming a transaction committee to evaluate the transaction and to make sure that the deal includes a Traveler's Bill of Right and protects actual airport workers. The city has been criticized in the past by entering into an unpopular Private Public Partnership deal, a 75 year parking meter transaction.

This will be Chicago's second attempt at privatizing the Southwest Side airport, after the initial 2009 deal involved a 99 year deal that would represented $2.5 billion. The city decide to retain a slot for Midway in the Federal Aviation Administration's airport privatization pilot program. It is expected that later this month, the city will issue an RFP looking for qualified companies able to participate in the P3 project.

This could be the fourth airport in the US that participates in the FAA Airport Privatization program. The first airport operated by a private company is Stewart International Airport in NY, followed by two other airports that are still under evaluations: Luís Muñoz Marín International Airport in Puerto Rico and Hendry County Airglades Airport in Florida.

Photo © dlkinney

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