The city of St. Louis is asking for federal approval to study whether it’s a good idea to put St. Louis Lambert International Airport under private management.
Mayor Francis Slay was in Washington with Travis H. Brown, president of Grow Missouri Inc., an organization funded by retired St. Louis investor Rex Sinquefield, to apply for one of five open slots in the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Privatization Pilot Program.
The preliminary application made Tuesday asks only for the OK to examine privatization, and a decision could come in a month.
Before such a plan would be enacted, it would need approval from the Board of Aldermen, the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, airlines that serve Lambert and voters.
If eventually given the final go-ahead, something that would be at least a year away, the city would retain ownership of the airport and its land, but a private company would lease it. Money coming into the airport could be used for needs beyond the airport and by the city and St. Louis region, something not allowed under the current operation system.