Anti-Outsourcing Mayor Emanuel Considers Outsourcing Airport

Rahm Emanuel / AP


Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel may outsource the lease of the city’s Midway International Airport, according to the Wall Street Journal:

Australia’s Macquarie Group Ltd. is among firms that have expressed interest in bidding on a long-term lease to operate Chicago’s Midway Airport, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

Chicago city officials said parties who lodged expressions of interest by the Feb. 22 deadline include Global Infrastructure Partners LLC, which owns the U.K.’s Gatwick airport. A consortium including Grupo Ferrovial SA, which owns London’s Heathrow Airport and Macquarie Group Ltd. is part of another consortium, they said.

The Wall Street Journal reported in a previous article that Emanuel said he is "test[ing] market interest" for a lease, but may not agree to a deal.

Emanuel initially opposed efforts to privatize Midway Airport when he took office in 2011. He soon reconsidered because of the success of a similar deal in Puerto Rico’s Luis Munoz Marin International Airport. 

Regardless, Mr. Emanuel has said any Midway lease approved under his watch must be significantly shorter and include a continuing revenue stream for the city, in addition to upfront money.

Thus far, international organizations appear to have taken the most interest in acquiring the lease.

The Chicago mayor and former White House chief of staff, reprimanded former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for his alleged involvement in the outsourcing of jobs.

At the 2011 Iowa Jefferson Jackson Dinner, he criticized the Republican nominee and said, "America cannot afford an economy built on outsourcing and risky financial deals."

Midway Airport was ranked in 2010 among the top 35 U.S airports for their annual aircraft operations and number of passengers.

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