Chicago Votes To Sell Midway Airport Lease

 - October 27, 2008, 8:58 AM

Midway International Airport is one step closer to becoming the nation’s first privately operated major airport, following last month’s vote by the Chicago city council to sell a 99-year operating lease for the airport. The plan was championed by Chicago mayor Richard Daley, who earned infamy in the aviation community in 2003 by ordering the stealthy destruction of lakeside Meigs Field in the middle of the night. Under the proposal, the buyer would make an upfront payment of $2.52 billion for the lease, a large portion of which will be used to pay off the airport’s outstanding debt. Before the deal is finalized, however, it must be approved by the FAA and the TSA (which will continue to perform its current passenger screening and security duties), a process slated to take a minimum of 60 days following the submission of a final application.