Airport Privatization: Issues and Options for Congress

In 1996, Congress established the Airport Privatization Pilot Program (APPP; 49 U.S.C. §47134; Section 149 of the Federal Aviation Reauthorization Act of 1996, P.L. 104-264) to increase access to sources of private capital for airport development and to make airports more efficient, competitive, and financially viable. Participation in the program has been very limited, in good part because major stakeholders have different, if not contradictory, objectives and interests. Only two U.S. commercial service airports have completed the privatization process established under the APPP. One of those, Stewart International Airport in New York State, subsequently reverted to public ownership. Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is now the only airport with a private operator under the provisions of the APPP. As of August 2017, there are three active applicants in the APPP: Hendry County Airglades Airport in Clewiston, FL; Westchester County Airport in White Plains, NY; and St. Louis Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, MO. Increasing interest in airport privatization is likely to require a number of significant policy changes, including the following: making privatization more attractive to public-sector owners by facilitating the use of privatization revenue for non-airport purposes; providing similar tax treatment to bonds issued by public-sector and private sector airport operators, as public-sector operators now have access to less costly long-term finance than private operators; easing requirements for private owners to comply with assurances previously made by public-sector owners to obtain federal Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants; and accelerating the application and approval procedures for the APPP.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 20p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01704389
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: R43545
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 3 2019 1:57PM