GARY, IN, September 6, 2013 – An ad hoc committee of the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority evaluating 10 public-private partnership (P3) proposals to invest in the airport and the surrounding area, today announced it will initiate negotiations with two highly-qualified proposal teams.
The committee will report details about the teams – Aviation Facilities Company LLC/AvPorts Management LLC and The GCIA Group, LLC – to the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority board at its meeting next week.
“Of the 10 proposals the committee evaluated, these two teams stand out in numerous categories,” said Carrie J. Hightman, chair of the Ad Hoc Committee and executive vice president and chief legal officer of NiSource Inc. “We are initiating negotiations with the two teams that offer the most comprehensive opportunity to unlock value for good jobs and sustainable development.”
Hightman also said the committee expects negotiations will result in a final proposal to be presented the Airport Authority board in October.
The 10 proposals evaluated by the committee include firms and organizations with a wide range of expertise in many sectors such as aviation, finance and real estate management as well as urban and environmental planning and public art.
“Each of the 10 proposals has something to offer and we’ll be taking that into our negotiations with the leading teams,” said Hightman. “Every P3 airport model in the U.S. is unique so we have a tremendous opportunity to shape a successful P3 that encompasses many facets for the long-term benefit of Gary and the region.”
The committee evaluated each proposal using criteria included in six categories: general qualifications, development of regional assets, airport management, investment of capital, business/financial strength, and creativity and innovation.
In addition to Hightman, Ad Hoc committee members include:
- Marion Johnson – Pastor Mt. Moriah Baptist Church
- Bo Kemp – Managing Director, J Gari and Associates, Advisor to Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson
- Harley Snyder – Chief Executive Officer, HSC, Inc. Board Member of the Regional Development Authority
Advising the committee in the evaluation of proposals is Michael Zonsius, Chief Financial Officer of the Chicago Department of Aviation.
Tasked by the airport authority in February to explore a P3 to accelerate job creation and long-term investment in Gary and the Northwest Indiana region, the Ad Hoc committee is pursuing a P3 model that retains public ownership of the airport and benefits from private sector innovation and access to capital. In addition to the P3 exploration, major construction at the airport of a $166 million runway extending the main 7,000-foot runway by 1,900 continues.
The deadline for submissions for proposals was 5 p.m. (CDT) Monday August 26, 2013.
The Gary/Chicago International Airport is less than 30 minutes from the heart of the tri-state region – Chicago. The airport is directly connected to Chicago's transportation network through freight, interstate and mass-transit and has close proximity to multiple Lake Michigan ports.
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