WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino has announced the company that has been chosen to operate Westchester County Airport as part of a $1.1 billion public-private partnership.
Manhattan-based Macquarie Infrastructure Corporation was the unanimous selection of three proposals that were submitted to a bi-partisan task force appointed by Astorino to “operate, maintain and improve the airport,” while improving its value without “expanding its footprint.”
Macquarie beat out HPN Aviation Group and FerroStar Westchester Airport Partners after the task force graded each proposal on technical capabilities and financial offers.
Astorino said the winning proposal will net the county more than a billion dollars over the course of the 40-year lease, including $550 million to maintain and improve airport infrastructure. The county will receive $300 million up front. It will then receive $6.5 million annually that will be counted for in the annual budget to offset expenses.
“By receiving money up front and then spreading payments over the course of the lease, the county has created a guaranteed revenue stream of more than $6 million a year to pay for county services,” Astorino added. “This is the opposite of a ‘one shot’ financial transaction. It’s 40 years of recurring revenues.”
Astorino said that Macquarie will operate, maintain and improve the airport in accordance with an FAA program that will allow Westchester to use revenues generated at the airport to help pay for police, parks, roads, daycare and other services for the first time.
“The goal from the start has been a better, not bigger airport,” Astorino stated. “This proposal does just that: private investment capital – not taxpayer dollars – will improve the passenger experience, implement new environmental safeguards, and preserve the character of the neighborhood, all while creating a long-term revenue stream to help pay for county programs. This is an example of smart government operating on all fronts.”
With Macquarie’s bid chosen, officials from the company and the County Executive’s staff will review the lease and send it to the Board of Legislators for review. It will then require 12 votes for passage.
Following the announcement of a winning bid, Board of Legislator Chairman Mike Kaplowitz said in a statement that it's important to confer with Westchester County Executive-elect George Latimer following his victory over Astorino earlier this week.
“I believe that it is appropriate to take into consideration the opinions of County Executive-Elect George Latimer during our budget deliberations. I also believe that any decision regarding the privatization of the Westchester County Airport should not be undertaken until the new administration has an opportunity to fully research the RFP respondents’ proposals.”
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