U.S. News

Chicago exploring lease options for Midway Airport

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Fifteen months after a deal to lease Midway Airport to private operators fizzled out in a poor economy, the city of Chicago continues to keep its options for a future lease deal open.

“The city continues its review of market and other factors and has not yet made a decision on its next step to complete the privatization of the airport. The city will report by November 30, 2010 on further developments,” the city said in a statement filed with the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday.

Midway was the only hub airport selected by the FAA for a pilot program allowing five U.S. airports to be leased to private operators.

Chicago was well on its way to leasing the airport for 99 years to the Midway Investment and Development Company in exchange for a $2.52 billion upfront payment until a soured U.S. and global economy killed the deal in April 2009.

The group was comprised of Citigroup unit Citi Infrastructure Investors, YVR Airport Services Ltd and John Hancock Life Insurance Company.