City of Chicago issues RFQ for Midway airport

By Charlotte Turner |

The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved the City of Chicago’s preliminary application to its privatisation pilot program, allowing the City to move forward with issuing a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for potential interested bidders in Midway Airport.


“Our responsibility is to the taxpayers of Chicago and the first step is to gain a complete understanding of the revenue and market opportunities available to us,” said Lois Scott, Chief Financial Officer of the City.


“We must evaluate fully if this could be a win for Chicagoans and ensure that certain conditions and criteria are met, including a direct benefit to taxpayers and a Travellers’ Bill of Rights. The city’s process and approach will be thorough and open, in stark contrast to the lease deals of the past.”


The RFQ was met with support from the airline industry, specifically from Southwest Airlines; Midway’s largest airline in terms of flights and passengers.



This RFQ allows prospective bidders to formally express their interest and qualifications to potentially bid on an agreement for Midway. Interested bidders are asked to respond to the RFQ no later than 4:00 pm CT on 22 February, 2013.  Based on the RFQ submissions, the City will determine those interested parties that are qualified to move forward in the process.


The Agreement is intended to last no longer than 40 years and requires the bidder to finance, operate, maintain and improve Midway Airport. The execution of the Agreement would be the first transaction of its kind for a major commercial service airport in the United States.


The proposed transaction would be implemented under the Airport Privatisation Pilot Program authorised by federal law and administered by the FAA.


The Airport has completed construction of the Concourse A Infill project, in 2010, which includes 5,850sq ft of new concession areas for future opportunities. In total, Midway has 49,954 square feet of retail and food and beverage space in its terminals.


The airport says that its ‘Concession Triangle’ offers a varied selection of familiar national brands and local cuisine. Travellers have a range of selections, including Chicago brands such as Potbelly Sandwich Works, Lalo’s Mexican Restaurant, Gold Coast Dogs, Harry Caray’s Steakhouse, Manny’s Deli and Pegasus (a Greek tavern), among others.


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