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Midway Airport Privatized: Canadian Company Takes Over

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Midway Airport in Chicago will become the first major airport in the U.S. to be privatized and it will be run by a Canadian company. Vancouver Airport Services, which runs Vancouver International Airport and 17 other airports in British Columbia, the Caribbean, South America and Europe, was the successful bidder for a $2.5 billion deal that will include a lease on Midway for 99 years."This contract marks a milestone in the growth of our company, and is a clear example of how we can leverage our success at home to develop the best airports in the world," Larry Berg, president and CEO of the Vancouver Airport Authority, which owns half of Vancouver Airport Services, told The Canadian Press.

The landmark deal is the first in an FAA pilot project. Chicago has asked to privatize as many as five of its airports. The Midway deal must be ratified by Chicago city council but it's already been blessed by Mayor Richard Daley. Midway handle about 19.3 million passengers in 2007, about two million more than Vancouver International. The deal will net Chicago about $1 billion but the deal requires that 90 percent of that go into airport improvements.

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