March 4, 2006

Chicago mulls privatizing Midway Airport: report

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Chicago officials are considering
whether to lease out Midway Airport to a private operator, the
Chicago Tribune reported on Saturday.

The possibility of privatizing control of the airport is
one idea being considered to try to bring more money to the
city, Dana Levenson, Chicago's chief financial officer, told
the newspaper.

"Does it end up in a transaction? We don't know. Yet, we
have to be considering any and all possibilities," Levenson

Legislation that passed the Illinois Senate earlier in the
week could help clear the way for leasing out the city's second
largest airport, a spokeswoman told Reuters late Friday.

The bill would maintain the tax-exempt status for Midway --
as well as city-owned parking garages and waste processing
plants -- if it is leased to a private operator.

The city reaped $1.83 billion when it signed a 99-year
lease in 2004 for the Chicago Skyway toll bridge to Australian
and Spanish companies.