Lyda Krewson, Mayor of St. Louis made an announcement about the unsuccessfulness of the effort to privatize the city’s airport. This has been made public after several years of studies and multiple discussions. The fact that Lambert was controlled by one city being a regional resource has been disturbing people for a long time and they tried to do something to change that. One of them was the mayor of Bridgeton, Terry Briggs, whose city had lost a piece of land to this airport 15 years ago, according to Poole. He was very dissatisfied with the current state of things and took matters into his own hands.
The idea that Lambert should not be controlled solely by St. Louis was proposed to mayors of other cities in the same region. One of the points in discussions was about raising enough money to “buy” the airport and pay off its unpaid bonds, as Poole claims. St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann stated that Lambert has a significant value and it would only be fair for the city to get financial compensation for it. Poole states, that with all the investments in recent years the airport’s cost is estimated at $1.2 billion. When these numbers were announced, the carpenters’ union and The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People immediately contacted Krewson to call off her decision.
However, according to U.S. law, it is impossible to buy an airport; in this case, there would be a need for state legislation involvement. Unfortunately, the dismissal of Lambert’s transfer to the airport authority has been a shock to the airlines which have been cooperating with it and the potential bidders. This situation shows that if a suburban area with a smart business community decides to get a P-3 lease for its airport, many potential investors will be interested in it.
Poole, Robert. “St. Louis Mayor Cancels Lambert Airport P3 Lease.” Reason Foundation, 2020, Web.