Oaktree Capital Management officials talk about their plan to run the Westchester County Airport during a meeting with the Journal News editorial board Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2016.
Peter Carr/The Journal News
The bids are in to run Westchester County Airport.
The controversial push to lease the county-owned airport to a private bidder has three firms — FerroStar Westchester Airport Partners, HPN Aviation Group and MIC Airports — vying for a long-term lease that would see airport revenue funneled into county coffers.
“I’m confident that our initiative will result in a revitalization of Westchester County Airport that benefits taxpayers, enhances the experiences of passengers, and protects the character of the surrounding communities,” said County Executive Rob Astorino in a statement. “This is about smart government working to position a vital county asset for a strong future.”
FerroStar is a partnership between Ferrovial, a Spanish company that holds interests in Heathrow and Glasgow airports in Great Britain, and New York-based infrastructure asset management company Star America.
MIC Airports is a subsidiary of New York-based Macquarie Infrastructure Corp., an infrastructure investment firm that runs fixed-based operators at both Stewart International Airport and Teterboro Airport and has holdings abroad.
HPN Aviation Group is a joint effort from Oaktree Capital Management, the firm Astorino had chosen when he started the push to privatize the county airport last fall, and Connor Capital. The two companies announced the partnership in April and said they had hired a former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official and a former JetBlue CEO to help with the bid.
In November, Astorino announced a 40-year, $140 million deal with Oaktree that would funnel $15 million into his 2017 budget. The county Board of Legislators declined to move forward with the lease, citing difficulty evaluating both the deal and the proposed county budget.
The legislature announced its own bidding process earlier this year, hiring consulting firm Frasca and Associates to help evaluate the proposals. More than 20 groups said they were interested.
A Federal Aviation Administration pilot program allows airport privatization,…