A task force commissioned by the Springfield City Council said Tuesday that the Springfield-Branson National Airport should move away from city control and instead be presided over by a regional airport authority.
The regional authority would be the first of its kind in the state.
The shift would result in little or no change for the 1 million passengers that travel through the airport each year, officials said. But it would free the airport from city rules and regulations, giving airport leadership the freedom to more aggressively pursue growth opportunities.
Currently, the airport is owned by the city, but it has a separate budget and doesn’t receive any local taxes. A shift in governance would take six months to a year, officials said.
Deliberations over the future of Springfield’s airport comes as St. Louis mulls privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport and Kansas City pursues a privately funded plan to convert Kansas City International Airport into a single-terminal facility.
Read more: Springfield News-Leader