Top St. Louis officials on Wednesday approved hiring outside consultants to look into privatizing St. Louis Lambert International Airport.
The vote marks a big early step in what has already been a polarizing process for St. Louis.
Backers of the move say it can help St. Louis make money and be innovative. Opponents say privatization presents transparency concerns and isn’t necessary given the airport’s recent growth.
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson inherited the privatization effort from her predecessor Francis Slay when she took office last year. She said looking into privatization doesn’t mean the city will approve it.
In early 2017, St. Louis applied for privatization with the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA approved the application more than a year ago, and it has taken this long for the city to hire an advisory team and negotiate a contract.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch