Rep. Lipinski Applauds Plan to Halt Midway Privatization
U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3), the state’s senior representative on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, issued the following statement today in response to the City of Chicago’s decision to drop its plans to privatize Midway Airport:
“On Thursday, the City of Chicago announced that it was no longer going forward with plans to privatize Midway Airport. I applaud Mayor Emanuel for halting the privatization attempt at this point.
“Once on the brink of closing, Midway has become one of world’s finest airports, playing a vital role in national air travel as well as serving as an economic engine for the Southwest Side of Chicago and surrounding communities. As the congressman representing the airport and someone who grew up less than a mile from it, I have had my reservations about any plan that could adversely impact Midway’s operations and nearby neighborhoods and communities. I have shared the concerns of many Midway neighbors, employees, and travelers who feared that privatizing the airport could have negative consequences, such as increased noise in the neighborhoods, higher parking and concession fees, and the potential loss of jobs for workers who rely on the airport to support their families. The mayor said that this privatization plan would have included protections for the neighborhood and the flying public. If there is going to be another attempt to privatize Midway in the future, I will insist that such protections are written into any agreement.
“Midway Airport is a well-run facility that serves the neighborhood, the region, and almost 10 million passengers a year. Whether it is bringing home $30 million to add safety devices to the runways, fighting to prevent overnight tower closures, or working for more soundproofing in the surrounding communities, I will continue to work to make Midway even better for everyone.”
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