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Do Crowds Increase Midway's Appeal?

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Federal regulators say Chicago’s Midway airport is running at close to capacity. At least one analyst thinks that makes it a more tempting candidate for privatization. Chicago Public Radio’s Gabriel Spitzer reports.

The FAA finds that the already-cramped Midway will run out of room to expand some time between 2015 and 2025.

But the high demand could make it an appealing buy for private investors – so says Matt Andersson. He’s a senior aviation consultant at CRA International in Chicago.

ANDERSSON: Similarly to why a hotel that’s sold out would be attractive to a buyer: more revenue coming into it. So at the consumer level it may have various components that are unattractive – delays, for example. But the fact that Midway’s busy is a very good thing for any commercial operator.

The city of Chicago has made moves to put Midway on the market.

Andersson says a private owner might have more capital and more leverage to expand the airport. That would probably mean condemning some private property.

The FAA says the region should consider building a new airport.

I’m Gabriel Spitzer, Chicago Public Radio.

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