|Untagged||29 Jun 2012|
|Privatization Attempt Not Cleared for Takeoff by allegheny|
Last fall the Allegheny County Airport Authority joined a consortium that included Airmall USA, and GE Capital Aviation to submit a bid to privatize Puerto Rico's San Juan Marin International Airport. As we had written in a Policy Brief from earlier this year this came as a bit of a surprise considering the longstanding strenuous anti-privatization stance of most elected officials in Allegheny County-including the current County Executive.
Word of this consortium and its effort didn't even make local news until late February and the Airport Authority was very tight lipped about any details or reasoning. They only touted the management expertise of those running PIT as the reason for the invite. But as we have documented in the past PIT is grossly underutilized and carries a very heavy debt burden. The inclusion of the Authority in this consortium was curious at best and we raised many questions about how the arrangement would have played out.
After months of extensions, the Puerto Rico Ports Authority narrowed the field from twelve to six and then to two. The Authority's consortium survived the first cut, but not the second. But has there been a change in heart over privatization? Can we look forward to seeing privatization efforts at PIT? While it's a great idea and one we would like to see, it's unlikely to takeoff.