Airport Privatization Could Lead to Better Customer Experience

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Whether or not leaders decide to privatize St. Louis-Lambert International Airport, aviation consultant Michael Boyd says it’ll be a good decision. He says looking at innovative modes of management is a good idea, and shows St. Louis leaders are forward thinking.

“It shows that the status quo may or may not be the way to go, let’s look at something else, so from that perspective it makes good sense, but don’t think for one second that this is going to bring back a connecting hub the size of the one TWA had, because right now, today, that’s ancient history, and St. Louis is, I don’t want to say on the rebound, because that implies the wrong thing, but St. Louis is a very strong airport,” he says.

Boyd gives Lambert Airport a good review now and notes that St. Louis has non-stop flights to “virtually anywhere you want to go in the U.S.”

A private company wouldn’t be in the business of attracting cargo or passenger flights, he says — they’d be hired to better *manage* the airport, which could mean a better experience for flyers and more cash flow for the city:

“The only reason to do it is it would cost less and provide a better product to the customer,” he says.

But one benefit, Boyd says, is that if there’s a problem with the airport, it’s a phone call to one person — the private operator — instead of navigating all of the public officials who’re involved now.

It’s going to be a month before the F.A.A. decides whether St. Louis can even study the option of basically handing the airport over to a private company, in exchange for cash.

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