Detroit Metro Airport: Will Privatization Take Flight?

DETROIT-In a recent editorial, The Detroit News proposed privatization as a viable solution to the "cronyism" and "contract irregularities" at Detroit Metro Airport. The newspaper said that the main short-term goal is to lift Metro Airport out of Wayne County politics by giving a watchdog committee significant input into airport policy. The committee would be more than an advisory group, especially concerning contracts and spending.

Sen. Glenn Steil, R-Grand Rapids, recently told The News that a second airport authority should be established-appointed by the state, county, and others the Legislature deemed appropriate-to own and operate the airport. Steil said he is not opposed to privatizing the airport, but that he doesn't think the political climate is amenable to the change.

The News cited Indianapolis, where privatization has lifted the city into one of the top 10 improved cities in the United States, as well as Denmark and Austria as locations where privatization of airports has been extremely successful.