FAA Approves City's Request To Privatize Midway Airport

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 21, 2013 5:30PM

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Photo Credit: vxla

The Federal Aviation Administration on Friday approved a request from the Emanuel administration to move forward with plans to privatize Midway Airport. The "World's Busiest Square Mile" has been the subject of privatization plans since the last years of the Daley administration. Emanuel began the process of opening the bidding process by posting a "request for qualifications" laying out the requirements contractors would have to agree to in order to take over Midway's day-to-day operations.

Emanuel first announced this so-called "Travelers ' Bill of Rights" earlier this month. The winning bidder would also agree to sharing revenue with the city and help fund ongoing capital improvements. The mayor is walking softly on privatizing Midway as this and similar projects will be compared to the 2008 parking meter privatization fiasco, where Daley and City Council signed away the parking meters and their revenue for 75 years for a lump sum payment the city has nearly blown through. Daley had a 99-year, $2.5 billion plan to privatize Midway in place in 2009 that didn;t happen as a result of the economic collapse.

Bidders were asked to submit their requests by Feb. 22.