Gwinnett County Requests Airport Privatization Bids
Jul 09, 2010 09:03 PM
Gwinnett County, Ga., has issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for firms interested in entering into a public-private partnership to operate Briscoe Field.
The RFQ is a required step in the FAA-sponsored pilot program to help officials study airport privatization options and possible changes in operations. Potential options may include privatization as a general aviation airport or the addition of scheduled passenger air service, county officials said.
If an agreement is reached with a firm, the county will submit a final application to FAA for entry into the privatization pilot program. There is no deadline for FAA to complete its review.
Final approval by FAA will be based on numerous conditions that include the private operator’s ability to ensure continued access to the airport on reasonable terms, continued safe operations, continued maintenance and improvements, security, decreased noise and environmental impacts and continued operation of the airport in case the private operator goes bankrupt or otherwise defaults.
Congress authorized the airport privatization pilot program in 1996 “to explore privatization as a means of generating access to sources of private capital for airport improvement and development.” Chosen airports are exempt from repaying federal loans invested in their facilities.
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