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Bidders line up for Chicago Midway airport privatisation

The city of Chicago has six consortiums vying for a concession contract to run Chicago's Midway International Airport in Illinois, reports NCE's sister publication Infrastructure Journal.

Offers to operate the first major US airport to be privatised have come from firms from Australia, France, Germany, Canada and Spain.

While many European airports were privatised some years ago, all commercial airports in the US are currently operated and owned by local or state governments.

The groups which have submitted statements of qualifications are:

  • Abertis Infraestructuras, Babcock & Brown Group and GE Commercial Aviation Services

  • Airports America Group - Carlyle Infrastructure Partners

  • Chicago Crossroads Consortium - Macquarie Capital Group, Macquarie Airports, Macquarie Infrastructure Partners and Macquarie Infrastructure Partners II

  • Chicago First Consortium - Hochtief Airport, Hochtief Airport Capital and Global Infrastructure Partners

  • Midway Investment and Development Corporation - YVR Airport Services, Citi Infrastructure Investors and John Hancock Life Insurance

  • Aeroports de Paris Management, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners and HMSHost Corporation

Midway is the first major hub airport to apply for approval for privatisation since the US congress established a pilot program in 1996 to explore the use of private operators at commercial airports.

The 50-year lease is expected to raise between £1-1.5bn ($2-3bn) and a decision is expected in the next eight to 12 months.

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