Chapter Two: Closer to Ground Level: Airport Ownership and Finance
Bednarek demonstrates that US airports are locally owned and managed, primarily by cities, counties, and states. Increasingly since 1945, airports have also been turned over to independent public authorities in the name of management efficiency and easier financing. Internationally, the post-war period saw a strong movement toward the privatization of public airports, with one of the most cited examples being the privatization of the British Airport Authority. Privatization has had its champions in the USA, but with few exceptions the nation’s commercial airports remain in public rather than private hands. Most airport financing is local and private, but federal funding has also been crucial and the subject of intense political debate concerning the creation and use of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund.