Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin says the city of Chicago should repay any federal funds spent to update Midway International Airport if officials decide to sell or lease it.
Durbin sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Tuesday urging him to carefully evaluate any airport privatization agreements.
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Chicago officials are considering privatizing Midway. Officials in San Juan, Puerto Rico are close to privatizing an airport there.
Durbin noted together the two airports have received almost $559 million in federal Airport Improvement Program funds since 1982. He says $378 million was spent at Midway to rebuild runways, taxiways and a new terminal.
Durbin says the federal government borrowed heavily to invest in airports across the country, so the money should be repaid under privatization and taxpayers should have a say.