On June 13, at the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, I voted against approving an advisory consulting agreement for the privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport. The Comptroller’s Office does not support this effort to trade Lambert’s successful fiscal management and positive growth for the risks of privatization.
Lambert Airport has been a public entity since 1928 when St. Louis voters approved a $2 million bond issue to buy the airport property. Over 90 years Lambert has served the people of our region through good and bad economic times. Currently, the airport is in a strong financial position showing 31 straight months of passenger growth, two credit-rating upgrades, and added international flights.
Privatization would disrupt this growth. Our airport is an asset for the city, and a private entity beholden to shareowners, not consumers, would put bottom-line profit over public service.
To abandon the long and successful history of Lambert as a municipal airport through this politically expedient process is wrong. As today’s E&A vote to advance the privatization process passed 2-to-1 and the Airport Commission was left out of this decision, a public vote must be part of the process to decide the fate of the airport.