Policy Brief

Privatization of Airports, Air Traffic Control and Airport Security

Aviation Chapter of Annual Privatization Report 2011

This section of Reason Foundation’s Annual Privatization Report 2011 provides a comprehensive overview of the latest news on domestic and international airport privatization and the privatization of airport security. Topics include:

  • In the aftermath of the credit markets crunch of 2008-2009, the airport market continued its recovery in 2011, with efforts including Puerto Rico’s current plan to privatize San Juan’s Luis Munoz Marin International Airport and Chicago’s continued interest in a potential Midway Airport lease.
  • A total of 48% of European air passengers were handled by partly or fully privatized airports in 2011, with that share likely to grow with impending privatization initiatives in Spain and Greece.
  • Amid public outrage over TSA’s introduction of body scanners and aggressive pat-downs, the administration and Congress continued to battle over proposals to allow airports to opt-out of TSA security and hire private screeners. However, some progress was made in Washington D.C. over reviving the trusted traveler program, advancing a more risk-based approach to security.
  • Since 1990, 51 governments have commercialized their air traffic control systems, separating the air traffic control functions from regulatory bodies, removing them from civil service, and making them self-supporting from fees charged to aircraft operators. However, there was no significant progress in 2011 toward commercializing air traffic control in the United States.
  • Other more news on domestic and international airport privatization and air traffic control commercialization.

» Annual Privatization Report 2011: Air Transportation [pdf, 590 KB]

» Complete Annual Privatization Report 2011

Robert Poole is director of transportation policy and Searle Freedom Trust Transportation Fellow at Reason Foundation.