Airport Public-Private Partnership Negotiations Underway
October 25, 2013 — The Gary/Chicago International Airport administration says today its public-private partnership committee is engaged in exclusive negotiations with an airport developer.
The Airport says the Ad Hoc Committee to secure public-private partnership (P3) proposals for airport development expects to conclude negotiations with Aviation Facilities Company Inc./AvPORTS (AFCO) soon to present a final recommendation next month to the Airport Authority.
Committee Chair Carrie Hightman said, “Entering into exclusive negotiations is an important step toward our goal of unlocking the value of the airport and the surrounding area to attract jobs, long-term investment and professional management to the airport.”
In September the Committee announced it had begun negotiations with two prospective partners, Aviation Facilities Company Inc./AvPORTS and the GCIA Group.
Aviation Facilities Company Inc. /AvPORTS Executive Vice President Steven Forrer said, “We are proud to have been selected to enter into exclusive negotiations for development and management of Gary/Chicago International Airport. We look forward to concluding negotiations quickly so that we can get to work.”
In addition to Hightman, Ad Hoc Committee members include Mt. Moriah Baptist Church Pastor Marion Johnson, adviser to Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson Bo Kemp, Regional Development Authority Board member Harley Snyder, and Airport Authority Board members James Cooper and Shontrai Irving.
Today’s statement says Chief Financial Officer of the Chicago Department of Aviation Michael Zonsius is advising the Committee in the evaluation of proposals, after it was directed by the Airport Authority in February, “To explore a P3 to accelerate job creation and long-term investment in Gary and the Northwest Indiana region, the Ad Hoc Committee is pursuing a P3 model that retains public ownership of the airport and benefits from private sector innovation and access to capital.”
In addition to the P3 exploration, major construction at the airport of a $166-million runway extending the main 7,000-foot runway by 1,900 feet continues.