On Monday, April 24, 2017, Reuters News Service first broke this Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announcement that the City of Saint Louis could become a bigger example of how the United States Department of Transportation could make public and private capital work together for airport innovation.

Michael Huerta, the FAA Administrator, indicated that he was pleased to see an increasing number of airport operators taking interest in the Airport Pilot Privatization Program.  White House Special Assistant to the President for Infrastructure Policy DJ Gribbin gave the U.S. Department of Transportation high marks for this accomplishment, calling for working with them to modernize our nation’s infrastructure.

Airport innovation with private management partners is increasing quickly on a global scale.  Olivier Jankovec, Director General of the Airports Council International Europe, indicates that today, over 40% of European airports have at least some private shareholders.  What’s even more impressive is that 75% of the passengers that travel in Europe daily use an airport that has been fully privatized or has a mixed use. At FLY314, it seems that our Saint Louis International Airport (KSTL) could benefit from talking to the world’s leading innovators with airport operations.

Global airport investors like AviAlliance (formerly HOCHTIEF AirPort) see airports as attractive capital investments with stable yields.  But they are also quick to point out that local public approval in the region where it is located is essential.  That is precisely why FLY314 was born:  to provide transparency, education, and support to the local owners of our historic Lambert Field.  FLY314 helps understand, develop, and support public opinion messaging within the Saint Louis region through:  citywide polling, regional focus group, digital and phone surveying, legislative outreach, counsel to the Office of Mayor, and local media relations. FLY314 looks forward to welcoming new interested parties while sharing more knowledge about our voters.