St. Louis Lambert International Airport privatization terminated over information vacuum

27 January 2020 - 12:00 am UTC

Mayor Lyda Krewson’s last-minute decision to pull her support from the St. Louis Lambert International Airport P3 came amid growing frustration over lack of transparency and leaves unanswered questions about the airport’s future

The lack of transparency alleged at St. Louis officials’ attempt to partially privatize its airport swayed Mayor Lyda Krewson to cancel the project days before Christmas, said multiple sources familiar with the situation.

Krewson’s 20 December announcement came amid growing local opposition, stakeholders’ increasing confusion about how the public-private partnership (P3) would be structured and who would benefit from it – all of which was fueled by the secrecy surrounding the procurement.

From its inception in 2017, the argument underpinning the project was that a winning bidder would make a large upfront payment to the city that could be used for other infrastructure improvements. However, as the project progressed it was never clear what the payment mechanism would look like, who would share in the revenues and what it would be used for.

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