Article by Nick K in the newspaper today.
On the blog we have been begging the City for four years to put an RFP out on the entire airport to either 1) long-term lease or 2) outright sell ORH. In fact I meant with then Chairman of the Airport Commission some three (or was it four) years ago to explain privatization and he asked me to submit a letter to the board, which I did. It was blown off because IMG said that there would be no suitors. How they knew that without ever putting out an RFP never made sense to me.
Councilor Petty the bid on Chicago Midway is not the first example of airport privatization. In 1999, Stewart Airport in Newburgh was leased out for 99 years to National Express, a Eurpoean company, at an up front cost of $35 and a percentage of the annual sales. National Express has completely turned the airport around and has resold the remaining years of the lease to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
MassPort has been a great partner and savior for ORH the past ten years, but 18 months we have been negotiating this sale. Maybe we need to open up the process to all buyers, like Avports who have already expressed an interest, by condusting an RFP. That said, why do we need to hire someone to do the RFP.
In closing, this is good news but it should have started five years ago.
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