April 16, 2007

Airport Privatization

Another great story from the Philadelphia Business Journal on airport privatization. Instead of searching for revenues streams that we have no control of like a local meals tax (unless there is legislative approval), casinos or taxing non-owner occupied as commercial, more emphasis should be placed on getting the best possible deal for ORH. It has become a major issue in the Philadelphia Mayoral race. Here is part of the story:

Can the airport be privatized?

Philadelphia Business Journal - April 13, 2007

In making the lease of Philadelphia International Airport a campaign issue, the five major candidates angling for the Democratic nomination for mayor are heading down a runway Chicago has already embarked upon.

If Chicago succeeds in leasing the Chicago Midway International Airport, the Philadelphia experiment will be grounded unless an act of Congress relaxes the rules on airport leases.

The national Airport Privatization Pilot Program limits the sale or lease of airports to five, including only one large hub. Legislative amendments are in Congress' hands now to expand the program from five to 15 airports and remove the restriction of one large hub airport. Congress will have to act, which is expected to happen before aviation taxes supporting the Federal Aviation Administration expire on Sept. 30, for the Philadelphia mayoral candidates' plans to succeed.

Candidates Tom Knox, former City Councilman Michael A. Nutter, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady and state Rep. Dwight Evans all said they were open to exploring privatization of the airport in interviews at the Philadelphia Business Journal, though they offered no specific plans for the use of such proceeds.

U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, also a candidate, has made an airport lease the centerpiece of his plan to tackle poverty -- estimating that a long-term deal would bring in more than $3 billion.

there is more to the story, click the link above to read more.....

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