Report: Major Upgrades May Be Coming To Midway Airport

CHICAGO (CBS) — Some major upgrades may be in store at Midway International Airport.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports, a minimum of $1.1 billion in capital improvements are included under the use agreement proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, according to a Chicago Sun-Times report.

The improvement projects would be paid for by the airlines that operate Midway. They would take up to 15 years, and would clear the way for the carriers to share $22-million in airport revenue.

The city says the plan is aimed at ensuring that Midway continues to “grow and remain competitive,” the Sun-Times reported. The exact nature of the proposed improvements was not spelled out.

Meanwhile, an Emanuel administration spokesman tells the newspaper a deal to privatize the airport is still a possibility.

Retired Mayor Richard M. Daley advanced a plan some years back to privatize Midway. But the $2.5 billion deal fell through in April 2009 for lack of financing.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports

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.

Midway is Chicago’s oldest airport. It opened as Chicago Air Park in 1923, and was dedicated as Chicago Municipal Airport in 1927, before acquiring its current name in 1949 following the Battle of Midway during World War II.

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