Alderwoman Cara Spencer, D-20th Ward, also participated in the discussion. She’s an outspoken critic of the current process set in place and cited the failed privatization of Stewart International Airport in New York as one of the reasons why. When the airport’s private operator, National Express (NEG), pulled out of the contract, it “cost taxpayers of New York $75 million to get out of that privatization,” Spencer said.
“That is the only airport on mainland United States that has gone private, and I'm very concerned that the city of St. Louis could find itself in a very, very similar situation,” Spencer said on Thursday’s program.
Ruff explained that proponents for privatization see an opportunity for a private operator to come in with some efficiencies, cut costs, improve concessions and redevelop some of the surrounding land.