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Privatization Plans On Hold For Midway

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Midway Airport

The Southwest Airlines check-in area at Midway Airport. (2008 File Photo; Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Privatization plans are on hold once again for Midway International Airport.

In 2006, the Federal Aviation Administration selected Midway for an experimental program to test the idea of airports being run privately. Mayor Richard M. Daley was a strong supporter of the idea early on, saying it could be a major cash infusion for the city.

But a $2.5 billion deal to privatize the airport fell through in April 2009 for lack of financing. The city terminated its lease with Midway Investment and Development Company because the firm could not secure the financial backing to pay the upfront rent of $2.52 billion to the city.

The FAA is now extending its timeline to privatize Midway until next summer, after a new mayor is elected.

The city has privatized several other lucrative assets. At the beginning of 2009, the city leased its parking meters to a private company led by JP Morgan Chase, in a 75-year, $1.15 billion deal.

The city also privatized the Chicago Skyway ($1.83 billion), and later the downtown parking garages ($563 million).

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