Master of Public Administration
Department or Program
This paper examines airport privatization as a whole. Since airport privatization is so complex, this paper begins by laying out the fundamentals of airport privatization and the airport structure in the United States (U.S.). Understanding these crucial fundamentals will help readers comprehend how the supporters of this concept are attempting to revolutionize airports in the U.S. This paper entails an analysis of its corresponding literature, heavily relying on the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) since they are two active organizations concerning this topic. This paper also used information from interviews with long-time airport manager, Gary Shafer, who previously wrote his MPA research paper on this same topic. The literature review consists of: the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Privatization Pilot Program (APPP), the various airport examples of this concept being implemented in the U.S. and it finally distinguishes where airport privatization is more likely to occur and become a success. This paper will also analyze what the public sector has to gain and lose with airport privatization through a review of case studies and it will also reveal and relate the misconceptions regarding this concept. Proponents of airport privatization argue that this policy aids the public sector by allowing them to relinquish having to operate an airport and opponents of airport privatization believe that the public sector would be relinquishing of a public asset by privatizing its airport.