Midway Airport Attracts World-Class Bidders

April 1, 2008

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Chicago's Midway Airport is small compared to O'Hare, but right now, Midway has the spotlight. The city wants to privatize Midway, and today it revealed who's interested in buying.

No one's plunked down money for Midway Airport yet, but Chicago's chief financial officer Paul Volpe says he's already pleased. Midway's attracting attention from hefty firms.

VOLPE: Clearly they operate some of the biggest and well-known airports across the world.

Indeed, the six bidders [pdf] manage or own airports in Europe, the Middle East, South America, and the Caribbean. This is just the city's first impression, though. Volpe says soon, Chicago will double-check the companies' backgrounds.

VOLPE: Once they're qualified they will bid on the same terms of a single contract and it will come down to the highest bid wins.

It could be a year before Chicago settles on a buyer for Midway airport. A sale could bring in at least two billion dollars. Proceeds could go toward public works programs or city pensions.

I'm Shawn Allee, Chicago Public Radio.