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Gary/Chicago Airport Partnership Considered

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Is the Gary/Chicago International Airport thinking about taking on a partner? An ad hoc committee has been named to report back with recommendations in a couple of months . Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson joined Airport Authority President Nathaniel Williams announced an intergovernmental agreement Monday to pursue a public-private partnership to invest in the airport.
Here's more info from the Mayor's Office:
GARY, IND., Feb. 11, 2013– Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson joined Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority President Nathaniel Williams in announcing today an intergovernmental agreement to pursue a public-private partnership to invest in Chicago’s third airport and to grow the region’s competiveness in the global economy.
“A public-private partnership is the right growth strategy for the tri-state region’s third largest airport,” said Mayor Freeman-Wilson. “It creates jobs through private sector investment, maintains local public control and attracts economic development in the area from around the world.”
David A. Bochnowski,Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Peoples Bank and a member of the Gary/Chicago Airport Authority Board, will chair an Ad Hoc committee to conduct additional due diligence and report recommendations within the next 60 days. The Ad Hoc committee will have representation from the Airport Authority board (2); City (2); private sector (2); at-large (1). 
A report compiled recently by the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority detailed the economic impact of a revitalized third airport, identifying an estimated $400 million in capital investment, 2,400 direct and indirect jobs and an annual economic output of $526 million from airport-related activity.
“A fresh perspective on the operations and management from a private sector partner will maximize the economic potential of Chicago’s third airport making the entire region more competitive on a global scale,” said Nathaniel Williams, president of the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority.  “Total privatization of the airport is not on the table.” 
A large-scale $167 million runway extension project currently underway is expected to be finished by the end of the year.
                       “New York is served by three airports –JFK, LaGuardia and Newark – that create thousands of jobs; it’s time we all work together to make Chicago’s third airport a more vibrant economic engine for all,” said Mayor Freeman-Wilson.  “This is long-term investment to grow the region by attracting companies in the aviation, manufacturing, warehousing and logistics industries, and expand ground capacity to better manage air traffic.”
The Gary/Chicago International Airport is less than 30 minutes from the heart of the tri-state region – the city of Chicago. The airport is directly connected to Chicago’s transportation network through rail freight, interstate and mass transit integration.
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