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- February 1, 2017; Vol. 4, Number 2

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How to Fix Crummy U.S. Airports: Government control is putting a stranglehold on improvements

by Michael Sargent

1 Although America’s airports serve more travelers than anywhere else in the world, many are handling far more passengers than their original designs intended. Not a single U.S. airport was ranked in the top 25 in the world, and worse still, our largest and most important airports in cities such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles scrape the very bottom in terms of customer satisfaction. These miseries are exacted on travelers because airports are prohibited from running like normal businesses due to burdensome government involvement. Nearly every major airport in the United States is owned by a local government or authority, such as a port authority. The result is that many airports are run like a government bureaucracy instead of an efficient, competitive business. This stands in stark contrast to Europe, where airports under partial or wholly private ownership handle nearly three-quarters of passengers. An even greater impediment airports face is

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