Posted Online: Jan. 18, 2013, 2:38 pm

FAA OKs request to privatize Midway

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CHICAGO (AP) Federal authorities have given a green light to Chicago to press ahead with plans to privatize Midway International Airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration says Friday in a statement that the city 'can take the next steps to select a private airport operator' after the agency accepted a preliminary application to privatize Chicago's second largest airport.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said last month he's seeking private bidders interested in leasing Midway for up to 40 years. He wants enough cash from the deal to pay off Midway's roughly $1.4 billion debt. There'd be a split of profits with the private operator.

Emanuel proposed a panel of City Council members, business leaders and labor representatives to oversee the process.

He says a 'Traveler's Bill of Rights' would be part of any deal.