Chicago’s Midway Airport was privatized last week. A consortium consisting of Citi Infrastructure Investors, YVR Airport Services, and John Hancock Life Insurance bought the airport. YVR Airport Services, which is partly Vancouver(YVR) airport itself, will operate the airport for the consortium.
The final price was $2.5 billion, and the bidding, reports say, was very competitive. Leading Midway airline Southwest is reportedly eager to work with a private owner. Midway is the first major airport to be privatized. New York’s Stewart Airport in Newburgh was privatized, but it is not a major airport, and the privatization effectively ended when the airport was sold to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a government entity.
We share the eagerness of Southwest to see how things can be run under private control. But we aren’t quite sure if it will end up a positive or a negative. Certainly businesses can be more reactive than government, but businesses often put profits ahead of people. The Government is more likely to cave to public pressure.