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January 14, 2010

BWI could be sold or go public, O'Malley says

FT.com, the web site of the Financial Times, is reporting that Gov. Martin O'Malley told a conference he's open to the sale of Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport -- or a public offering of stock in the facility.

To put this  in context, this  was not a gubernatorial announcement but a response  to a question.

Sun Business Editor Laura Smitherman elaborates:

O’Malley was asked the question at the conference and responded that he would be open to it. But they arren’t proactively seeking bidders, and any deal would take more than a year to hammer out -- so it’s not a short-term budget fix. The governor has been open to privatizing other assets  and apparently would consider an airport offer if the price is right.

 

Posted by Michael Dresser at 9:20 PM | | Comments (18)
Categories: Air travel
        

Comments

That's it? A potential major story like this (if it happens) and all you can blog is one sentence? How about giving some more details about this?

I agree with Jeff. How about some information about how a sale would affect travelers in our area?

Click on the link for more information on the story...

This is a terrible, short sited idea. One company could potentially hold the region's economy hostage. When re deregulated electricity look what happened...we paid more! Leasing the airport to a private company may not be a bad idea to make some short term cash, but selling it outright would be a mistake

@Jeff: Friday AM- there is a link within Dresser's posting to the Financial Times site that also has scant info related directly to BWI. It mentions more about other recent airport sales and the regulations regarding such actions.

Dude (Jeff). Get your priorities straight. The Ravens are playing tomorrow. No one is interested in something as trivial as this.

Reports have to do things like get facts, interview people and type up their reporting.

This is just an alert to what is happening and will more than likely lead to a real article with those above mentioned things, most likely by this afternoon.

Finally, the state should liquidate its assets and manage less and less.

Hopefully O'Malley can then sell roadways ,the light rail and various other transportation services to private interests and the public would benefit greatly from this and the state will have that much left to budget for. A win-win.

This could be the start of something terrific for Maryland residents.

In reality it won't, but one can dream can't they?

I don't know if Maryland would get close to full value for BWI at this time. It would be worth a $1 billion or more out on the open market. I want to read more about this before I decide whether this is a good idea.

Can we sell the legislooters to the highest bidder?

What? Oh, they already have been? Nevermind!

The Doritos Baltimore Washington International Airport.

MOM begging for more money becuse he has no ability to manage what he has.

Unfortunately, every time he and his Merry Men, Bush and Miller, even smell money, they spend it. There is no planning, no forward thought, that would take homework and real work, something these fellows have little knowledge of.

This action would probably be as much of a success as the Slots have been. Nothing worse than greed and ignorance.

The clean play on the board is to lease the airport to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA)-- the folks now managing the two Federally owned airports down the road, DCA and IAD. MWAA has done a wonderful job transforming each airport into a modern air transport hub employing user fee-backed revenue bonds. Maryland would retain legal title to BWI, leasing the airport to the Authority on a long term basis, using the annual lease payment to help Neil Petersen at SHA continue the important work of paving over the rest of the State, for example.

Bad bad bad bad idea. MOM is probably floating the idea to raise campaign cash from prospective buyers. What's next?? Privitizing the state police and fire departments???? Selling assets like this is stupid.

Government should never sell what we as citizens and taxpayers paid for and own. I believe that we should always be on the watch for local or state government to use this as a means to raise money. Once it is gone, to private enterprise or ownership, it is gone and you end up at the mercy of a corporate entity. Public items like airports, roads or water systems should never become private domains with a focus on making a profit.

I see that more has been added since my original comment, but if this is supposed to be a newspaper run by journalists, it seems to me that more can be done than just posting a link to someone else's work. And if Dresser isn't ready to post more details on his Sun paper blog yet, then maybe posting one sentence with a link isn't the right thing to do at the time. Maybe I just expect too much.

Tom--

While appreciating this isn't the world's best credit market right now, the 3,200 acres alone worth your $1 billion estimate, but not with an operating airport as the land use, of course. Before the privatization deal fell through at Chicago-Midway, the City was looking at a $2.5 billion deal for that large hub airport, and is now looking at a hybrid deal using tax exempt bond financing and a lease arrangement to lower the upfront credit demands for the private sector acquirer.

sell it to a mideast country or China, they own us anyway. In the next few years, the USA will matter no more so lets keep selling ourselves out now and not worry about the future.

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About Michael Dresser
Michael Dresser has been an editor, reporter and columnist with The Sun longer than Baltimore's had a subway. He's covered retailing, telecommunications, state politics and wine. Since 2004, he's been The Sun's transportation writer. He lives in Ellicott City with his wife and travel companion, Cindy.

His Getting There column appears on Mondays. Mike's blog will be a forum for all who are interested in highways, transit and other transportation issues affecting Baltimore, Maryland and the region.
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