October 14, 2008

New Orleans Airport Privatization

Just read an article in Forbes that New Orleans is now also considering privatizing their airport. I can still remember in January of 2005, Robert Z Nemeth coming to my office and me having to explain what privatization and wifi was and how we should be doing both at ORH. Mr Nemeth then proceeded to tell me that 1) nothing gets done at the airport unless it goes through him and 2) direct a letter to the airport suggesting both.

I did send a letter to the airport regarding my belief that ORH should privatize the airport by conducting an RFP to long-term lease or outright sell the airport. It was noted in the minutes of the February, 2005, and dismissed as noted as "already included in the IMG scope of work." IMG, in fact, did look report on this in their $100,000 report and dismissed it as something "a public/private partnership is not likely at this time". I never knew how they could know this without conducting an RFP?

I wonder if Chicago Midway or New Orleans also had to go through Robert Z Nemeth to solicit bids to privatize their airports.


Steve said...

I believe that Robert Z. Nemeth did nothing for the airport except withhold information from the public until he could capitalize on it by publishing exclusive information in his T&G column.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm ... does Bob spell his first name with one "O" or two ?!?!?!?!?

Jahn said...

The lack of news out of police headquarters is distrurbing at best. I guess we need to uncover all the alleged theft and all the alleged thieves and then we'll figure out how to spin it & CYA.

The council s/b all over this like a cheap $99.00 suit from Gentlemans Warehouse.

This inaction & lack of communication from both parties is what makes the general public cynical about most anything that has politics associated with it.

The de facto shareholders of the city want to know WTF is going on over at Lincoln Sq and I am not talking about Gateway North nor the old Boys Club (no pun intended).

And where's DA Joe Early on this.....he's clearly late to the party on this issue ..........must be too busy sending 3X pot offenders to the Hotel West Boylston.

Time to call in investigators from higher up with no ties to Worcester............if any federal grant money was involved here......then shouldnt the feds' be investigating this too........i gotta believe that drug investigting funds have to be coming at least in part from the feds??

David Z. said...


With all due respect, what does the Police Dept. goings on (or not) have to do with this thread about airport privatization?

Steve said...

It the Airport Commission can have a six minute meeting and ignore the goings on at ORH, why isn't Jahn free to do the same?

Bill Randell said...


What the hell is up with your stock!!


Jahn said...

David Z, sometimes my postings dont follow the exact thread topic, but are still issues that are IMO important.

The nexus between the issue I raised and the airport privatization thread is that the underling general theme is taxpayer money being abused, misused, wasted.........what ever term you'd like to use....and as we all know that's my bone of contention. The airport is just one line item under the general heading of: Taxpayer Money & WTH ???

Again the silence is deafening from WPD & the council. The city taxpayers deserve to be more & better informed.

David Z. said...

I don't think what the Airport Commission does (or not) is of any importance to the powers that be at the WPD and vice versa. That said, I would like to direct this back to the topic at hand; airport privatization. If you read last Sunday’s Nick Kotsopoulos column on leasing, IMHO, there is some positive news about Worcester Airport. Towards the end of Nick's article there is the following:

“Currently, the city is engaged in negotiations with the Massachusetts Port Authority for a long-term lease. While Massport might be the first choice of some city councilors because of its expertise, reputation and involvement in operating the airport for the city for many years, some think the city could take in significantly more money from a private investment group.

Councilor-at-Large Gary Rosen pointed out that Chicago recently received a bid of $2.52 billion from a private investment and development company for a long-term lease of Chicago Midway International Airport. While the city would not receive anywhere near that kind of money, Mr. Rosen thinks it would probably receive a lot more from a private group than from Massport.

The big question, however, is what level of interest there would be in the airport from parties other than Massport. We may soon find out.”

I know things sometimes move slowly in Worcester (too slow for some) but I think the end of the process of ridding ourselves of the airport is near. If not Massport, privatization.

Bill Randell said...

Daviz Z:

I agree with your assessment. My only comment is that it is too bad that Airport Commissioner did not run with this in Jan-Feb 2005 and made it a recommendation of the airport commission.

Maybe if he had done that we would have already been out of the airport business today.


John said...

You really think there would be any private interest without an access road? Would Massport have already signed a long term lease if the access road was done 10 years ago?

David Z. said...


Yes, I believe there is interest even without an access road. Of course an access road 10 years ago would have drove the asking price up 10-fold. And as Bill pointed out, we would already be out of the airport business.

Bill Randell said...

once and for all, an access road would have helped ORH immensely. This, however,is a common problem in the City of Worcester.

ORH could have been successful without an access road!!!! Available airports like ORH are in a very limited supply and I am sure someone would see the potential.

That being said it obviously would fetch a much higher price with an access road.

Jahn said...

If an access road was built, we wouldnt be having this discussion now...............b/c Massport would have taken over years ago...........not that that is what I would nec. have wanted to see.

Would Massport be better than the city running it..............surely b/c anything would be an improvement.....but let us not forget that Massport is also Hackport.

The city council wants to see Massport in there b/c MP is a political entity and they can still keep their fingers in the airport via the political process even if MP owned or leased it. With a private compnay.... no way in hell will they let the city council have a thing to say about how the airport is run.

What happens if a new owner /lessee takes over and then suddenly guess what.......we have 15-20 commercail sized jet take-off & landings daily............i.e. a successful airport..........all those who bought w/in the airport environs the last 2 decades will scream bloody murder to the council

BTW...if a deal with Massport couldnt be struck over the last 9 years............well the foreseeable future doesnt look too good either......assuming here that Massport would have to go into the capital markets to borrow..........same could also be said for a private company............so looks to be a few years at least until anything significant occurs up there

Jahn said...


I had to go to City Hall on Tuesday..........why are 85% of the parking spaces in the underground parking garage reserved? Who are they reserved for......city hall employees??.......while a visitng taxpayer (customer) has to park a 1/4 mile away............you'll never see this in a private retail business setting...........employess are ordered to park at a distance so customers get 1st dibs in the choice parking spaces. Only O'Brian b/c he is CEO should have a resevred spot/

Same thing at Meade St Health & Code dept building............all city vehicles (maybe 30+) are parked right next to the building........these spaces s/b reserved for the customers of the Health & Code Dept building....not for the city vehicles.

The customer must be first served...........then the shareholders........then the employees...city has it all Bass Akwards

Jahn said...

jezivpAlso....... Bill no thread on City Sq....vs.......North Main Gateway Park.......vs.........UNUM...........vs......who the hell does the council (city) think they have any input at all where UNUM or anyoine else for that matter locates or doesnt locate their new facility

Maybe if the council could cough $8M in public subsidies (a.k.a. as The Hand It Over Theatre treatment) for UNUM they might stick around.

Hey this isnt something that I would agree with.......but If I was UNUM i'd have my palm out......what's good for The Hand It Over Theater is even gooder for a co like UNUM....once the council opens the barn door..........

Bill Randell said...


My point exactly. If MassPort has not been in the past ten years, why are they going to buy in now. They were holding out for an access road that is not coming.

We are going to have to put the airport out to bid and bring someone else in.


Anonymous said...

I love it ... Worcester gangsta rapper 'Naughty by Randell' bustin' out his hit single 'U down wit RFP, yeah, you know me !!!'


Harry T
Worcester, MA