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Chicago considers privatizing Midway

Jan. 19, 2013 at 5:52 PM

CHICAGO, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- The city of Chicago said it is exploring the possibility of privatizing operations at Midway International Airport, the country's 26th-busiest airport.

The city has posted a notice requesting companies express interest in the possibility of bidding to take over Midway with a 40-year lease, the Chicago Tribune reported Saturday.

The so-called request for qualifications stipulates that revenue from running Midway must be shared with the city on an ongoing basis, as opposed to paying the city up front.

The city -- which has incurred $1.4 billion in debts since rebuilding the airport in 1996 -- is seeking guarantees on prices for parking and concessions.

The city's 75-year agreement on parking meter operations, agreed to during former Mayor Richard Daley's tenure, pushed parking prices sharply higher. Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration is trying to avoid signing a deal that would increase prices significantly, the newspaper said.

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