St. Louis releases airport modernization RFQ

04 October 2019 - 12:00 am UTC

The city of St. Louis released a request for qualifications (RFQ) for the potential “privatization” of the St. Louis Lambert International Airport on 4 October.


Responses to the RFQ are due 1 November.


After reviewing responses to the RFQ, the city will decide whether it wants to move forward with the public-private partnership (P3) procurement process and shortlisting of teams.


The timeline for announcing a shortlist or RFP release was not clear by press time.


The RFQ was released immediately after the airport planning group, which is made up of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed, City Comptroller Darlene Green, City Budget Director Paul Payne and other city officials, voted to move forward with the procurement process.


To get the process off the ground, the RFQ abides by a “preliminary framework” agreement the city struck with the major air carriers operating at the airport, including Southwest Airlines and American Airlines.


Essentially, airlines representing 80% of the airport’s traffic and 85% of the airport’s weighted cargo agreed to the preliminary framework enabling them with veto power over the procurement process. 


The city has pursued airport privatization under the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Investment Partnership Program (FAA AIPP). The city submitted an application under the AIPP in 2017, selected an advisory team made up of Moelis, Mayer Brown, Mckenna & Associates and Greenberg Traurig Law in August 2018 and then started exploring the value of a P3 on the airport.


The RFQ release was pushed back several times due to negotiations between the airport working group and airlines and ongoing discussions between the airport, the mayor and other city officials.


CLICK HERE to read the history of the procurement.


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