Study claims city could bring in more than $1B — if it gives up the airport

Federal infrastructure spending could drive up interest among potential suitors

San Antonio International Airport. (SABJ)

SAN ANTONIOEditor’s note: This story was published through a partnership between KSAT and the San Antonio Business Journal.

One national public policy group believes the Alamo City could generate more than $1 billion by leasing San Antonio International Airport to a private company or investors.

Not everyone may be anxious for San Antonio to cede control of one of its most important economic assets to outside interests — especially as airport stakeholders are preparing to deliver in the coming months a strategic plan to expand and improve the facility that’s years in the making.

“San Antonio is very well poised and positioned for the future in what we’re about to complete with the strategic development plan,” said Jesus Saenz, director of airports for the San Antonio Airport System. “I’m excited to take the next steps forward, to ensure that we have an airport that’s going to be ready for the future.”

The new report was produced by the nonprofit Reason Foundation, a Los Angeles-based public policy research organization. It projects that 31 U.S. cities, including San Antonio, could collectively generate $131 billion to pay down debt or invest in infrastructure by leasing their airports.

The report notes that the Alamo City could secure as much $1.34 billion by leasing San Antonio International Airport. After paying off airport bonds, which is required by federal law, the foundation estimates that San Antonio could net as much as $868 million.

Read the full story in the San Antonio Business Journal.

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