"Almost all commercial service airports in the United States are owned by local and state governments, or by public entities such as airport authorities or multipurpose port authorities. In 1996, Congress established the Airport Privatization Pilot Program (APPP) to explore the prospect of privatizing publicly owned airports and using private capital to improve and develop them. In addition to reducing demand for government funds, privatization has been promoted as a way to make airports more efficient and financially viable. Participation in the APPP has been very limited. Only two airports have completed the privatization process, and one of them later reverted to public ownership. Owners of other airports considered privatization, but eventually chose not to proceed. The lack of interest in privatization among U.S. airports could be the result of (1) readily available financing sources for publicly owned airports; (2) barriers or lack of incentives to privatize; (3) the potential implications for major stakeholders; and (4) satisfaction with the status quo."
CRS Report for Congress, R43545