On Chicago’s southwest side there is a lesser known airport known as Midway International Airport, that is about to play a game called catch-up. Last month the city finalized a plan to inject a $248 million boost over several years, into the devilment of this city-owned airport.
The plan includes modernization which will expand the airport plus grow the retail options, security and parking areas. Millions of people travel through this airport each year, and delaying its much needed facelift is no longer an option.
Chairman of the aviation committee of the Chicago City Council, alderman Mike Zalewski explained the council’s decision: “To be a competitive option, Midway needs to provide the best products, services and resources to its traveling public.”
The improvements are urgent, as many of the country’s older, larger airports find themselves in fierce competition with a growing number of newer, regional hubs with modern facilities designed to create a much-improved consumer experience, helping to boost revenue.
Midway is looking to improve its own financial situation with this huge investment from the city. It is one of only two US airports which posted a loss for operations in 2015, the other one the Bangor International Airport in Maine. The reported loss is in contrast to Midway’s place as one of 25 airports in the country with over 10 million airplane emplacements the same year as it reported a loss. Because the airport has no way to bring in the much-needed non-aeronautical revenue through the purchase of food, goods and services by consumers passing through the terminal, Midway is under huge financial pressure.