The process to privatize St. Louis Lambert International Airport supports special interests, not the public interest
St. Louis, MO (STL.News) – On October 4, the city’s Airport Advisory Working Group voted to issue a request for qualifications (RFQ) for a possible private operator of a leased St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL). Comptroller Darlene Green opposed proceeding with the RFQ.
“The process exploring privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport has been designed by and for special interests,” said Comptroller Green. “Unsurprisingly, this RFQ is shaped by assumptions to appease those interests, and I have no confidence that this process will yield an outcome supportive of public interest.”
Comptroller Green emphasized that to-date, Mayor Lyda Krewson, Aldermanic President Lewis Reed and the Airport Advisory Working Group have not committed to holding a binding public vote on privatization of STL as part of the approval process.
“As elected officials, our obligation is to the people who elected us, not to any outside special interest. Requiring a binding public vote on any selected proposal would go a long way in alleviating the public’s concerns about special interests,” said Comptroller Green. “The citizens of St. Louis are smart enough and informed enough to make important decisions about one of St. Louis’ major assets.”
The airport’s credit rating upgrades over the past two years and record 46 straight months of passenger growth in fiscal year 2019 are signs that STL is performing exceptionally under public management.