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Lambert Numbers Raise Privatization Questions

February 08, 2018 - 7:54 am
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) -  Lambert Airport is out with some good year-end numbers, raising the question: Is airport privatization really necessary?

For the year Lambert saw a 3 percent increase in departing flights, a passenger volume up around five-percent.  Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Neibruegge was asked if the airport's doing so well, why would we want to get rid of it?

"It doesn't get rid of it, it is an operating lease for a long time, but I think there's other reasons that people are looking at it. I think you want to look at is there something that somebody else could do, what's the value to it, so it's an inquiry as to does another option make sense," she says. 

Some airport commissioners are asking questions about the whole privatization process--has it been handled fairly, is the consulting firm objective, and will the airlines go for it. Under FAA rules, 65 percent of an airports carriers would have to approve privatization.  At this point the biggest carrier at Lambert, Southwest Airlines, isn't in on the talks about possible privatization.