Second Chicago airport P3 takes flight

Gary/Chicago Airport has a RFP out for a private operator.

A second Chicago-area air field is keen on finding a private operator as well as securing private investment and has published a request for proposals (RFP) for a public-private partnership (PPP; P3).

Gary/Chicago International Airport, located in Gary, a US Midwest city in Indiana, has billed itself the ‘third’ air field for metropolitan Chicago, along with Chicago Midway International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

On Monday, Gary/Chicago Airport followed Midway Airport in announcing its intention to enter into a P3 deal.

The Gary/Chicago Airport Authority in February began “to explore a P3 to accelerate job creation and long-term investment in Gary and the Northwest Indiana region,” according to a press release.

The Authority, as well as the city of Gary, “foresee a P3 model [in which] public ownership” of the air field is preserved, the press release said.

The eventual private partner would be tasked with capital improvements to the air field and surrounding property, according to a copy of the RFP obtained by Infrastructure Investor.

In conjunction with publishing the RFP, the air field went ahead with a $35 million bond issuance. Proceeds from the bonds, which have a 25-year term, will go toward repairing Gary/Chicago Airport.

A.C. Advisory, a privately held advisory in the ‘Windy City,’ JClark Consulting Group, a company based in Atlanta “specialising in […] air transport,” according to its website, as well as law firm Faegre Baker Daniels are assisting the Authority with procurement, the press release noted.

Proposals are due in a month, on Monday, August 26, according to the press release. A spokesman for Gary/Chicago Airport, said the Authority would seek to negotiate the length of a potential lease and the value of the P3 once a private partner has been selected.