If Chicago’s Midway Airport is privatized, I’ll be looking forward to flying in there. (And it won’t just be to satisfy cravings of Italian beef sandwiches and hot dogs at the food court.) It’s success may depend on the how much (or hopefully how little) the city regulates the airport’s contracts and operations as well as how much wasteful patronage will be eliminated by the private operator.
If there was any question whether investors would be interested in a long-term lease of Chicago’s Midway Airport, it was answered in the affirmative at the beginning of April.
If Midway does generate significant value for the city, the lease could be as precedent-setting as the city’s January 2005 lease of the Chicago Skyway. That transaction focused global attention on the United States as a new market for privatization of toll roads. But for the same thing to be possible in the airport sector would require Congress to amend the Airport Privatization Pilot Program legislation it enacted in 1996 .