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Constructing New Airports in Amercia

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. JACKSON of Illinois. I thank the gentlelady from Houston for her kind remarks.

Mr. Speaker, as many of you know, I have been talking about building a third airport for Chicago's metropolitan area since my first campaign, which was in 1995. The congressional district that I represent has nearly three people for every one job in many communities; and compare that to the northwest suburban parts of the city of Chicago, there are nearly three jobs for every one person. It is an enormous disparity.

Since that time in 1995, the United States has not built a single new airport. In fact, the United States has not built a new greenfield airport in more than 40 years. The last totally new airport built in this country was Dallas/Fort Worth which opened for business in 1969.

Now, some of you may say that Denver built a new airport. Well, yes and no. Denver has a new airport, but it was a replacement airport. Once the new Denver International Airport was completed, the old Stapleton Airport was shut down. So while Denver has an updated facility, that airport really didn't add to the number of U.S. airports.

Since 1969, when Dallas/Fort Worth opened, the U.S. air traffic, the number of passenger and cargo flights, has more than tripled. Yet, despite a tripling of activity and 40-plus years of aviation growth, no new major airport has come online to accommodate that expansion. That's absolutely incredible, Mr. Speaker.

Compare our record to China's. The Chinese Government recently announced plans to build 97 new airports between 2008 and 2020. So the U.S. builds zero airports in 42 years; China is embarking on a plan to build 97 new airports in just 12 years.

If the United States wants or hopes to stay competitive in the global economy, we need to start thinking a little bit bigger. We need to start thinking about ports, and specifically airports. We need to start thinking a little bit more like the Chinese, 100 new airports by 2020. The General Administration of Civil Aviation of China said that it plans to spend over 450 billion yuan, building no fewer than 97 airports by the year 2020.

If the plans are carried through, this massive expansion of capacity will see the number of Chinese airports increase to 244. The plans will mean that eight of every 10 Chinese people will live within 100 kilometers of an airport.

If the United States wants to compete, we simply have to be prepared to build more of these facilities. And I'm happy to report that some of us in Washington and in Illinois are doing precisely that. In the past 2 months, I've heard President Obama talk about the need to build new airports. Not once, not twice, but several times I've heard the President say this. The first time when he unveiled his national jobs plan, the President said: ``We can put people to work rebuilding America. Our highways are clogged with traffic. Our skies are the most congested in the world. It's an outrage.

``Building a world-class transportation system is part of what made us an economic superpower, and now we're going to sit back and watch China build newer airports and faster railroads at a time when millions of unemployed construction workers could build them right here in America,'' the President said.

Mr. Obama even noted that perhaps the best way and maybe the only way to build new airports, new highways, new infrastructure is through a public-private partnership, also known as PPP. In fact, Mr. Speaker, I explained this concept to State Senator Barack Obama while he was running to become a United States Senator in 2004. When he wrote an op-ed in the Chicago Sun Times in support of this proposed new airport, in his article he said: ``There is a strong case for a regional third airport in the south suburbs, a region that has struggled economically while other suburban areas have prospered. Employment and income in the south suburbs lags the rest of the Chicago area. The construction and operation of a new airport near Peotone would bring 1,000 construction jobs in the next 2 years and 15,000 permanent jobs by the first full year of operations, as well as billions of dollars in new economic activity to residents and communities that sorely need it.

``Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., a key leader in the Peotone effort, has assembled a group of private investors who are willing to risk their capital on the new airport's prospects. State government's role in the project would be limited to providing infrastructure improvement such as roads, transit, and sewers, which it routinely provides to other development projects around the State.''

Mr. Obama said: ``The benefits of a south suburban airport would not be limited to the Chicago region. Many downstate communities are hampered by their lack of air access to Chicago. Since gates for such flights are extremely limited at O'Hare and Midway, an airport near Peotone would provide downstate communities with enhanced air access to Chicago, as well as accommodating general aviation traffic that formerly utilized Meigs Field. In addition, as the world's first and only airport custom designed, built, and priced to attract low-cost carriers, it will attract air service to the Chicago area by startup and discount airlines currently not operating out of Chicago's existing airports.''

As many of you know, the plan that I've put together for Chicago's third airport is precisely that. I've advocated for building this airport through a public-private partnership for the past 8 years. To quote President Obama again, he said: ``There are private construction companies all across America just waiting to get to work. We'll set up an independent fund to attract private dollars and issue loans based on two criteria--how badly a construction project is needed, number one; and how much good it will do for the economy.''

The President knows that Chicago's two airports, O'Hare and Midway, have been operating at or above capacity for years, so the need is clearly there. In fact, the Federal Aviation Administration has been asking Chicago to build a new airport since 1985--for more than 25 years. As for the President's requirement that new infrastructure be good for the economy, there is no greater job generator in the world than an airport. For proof, we need look no further than Washington, DC, and the Dulles Airport corridor. Once out in the middle of nowhere, the Dulles Airport corridor today is home to 35,000 new companies. Some 575,000 people go to work there every day, and roughly 57 percent of the world's Internet traffic now flows through the Dulles corridor. Most of that is possible due to the airport.

As for the airport that I'm proposing for Chicago, it would create 1,000 construction jobs immediately over the next 2 years. Once phase 1 construction is done--which could be done as early as June of next year--and the airport opens for business, it would create an additional 15,000 new permanent jobs for the local economy, again by the first day of operation. Those 15,000 jobs at the airport include some jobs at the airport like pilots and baggage handlers and air traffic controllers and service agents and TSA agents. But, moreover, Mr. Speaker, it includes jobs located outside of the airport's footprint. I'm talking about jobs at the new Hilton, the new Hyatt, the new Fairmont hotels locating near airports; jobs at UPS and Federal Express, two businesses that can't survive without airports; Hertz, Dollar, Alamo, Avis, and Enterprise; jobs at local restaurants: McDonald's and Burger King and Chili's and KFC, Olive Garden, White Castle, Outback Steakhouse, Steak 'n Shake, Red Lobster, Wendy's, Applebee's, Panera Bread; convention centers, malls with entertainment complexes, sport complexes, warehouses, rail yards, all in the service industry, and corporate headquarters, all of which historically like to locate near airports.

Hotels all across America must be at 80 percent occupancy in order to be profitable every single day. People who stay in hotels tend to get to those hotels by flying there. Catching a taxi from an airport, or even renting a car, airports are the center of the service-based economy. Expanding the service-based economy is the fastest way to employ the American people and put them, Mr. Speaker, back to work.

And just like Dulles, which was Washington's third airport, Chicago's new third airport would create, over time, hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

So how do we build and finance an airport in these tough economic times? I know someone out there in television land is actually asking that question.

As the President said, the way to build new airports is through a public-private partnership, by getting private companies to invest their own capital without risk to taxpayers. In fact, Mr. Speaker, I learned a lot about public-private partnerships a dozen years ago when I began researching ways to build and finance a third airport for Chicago. And the President is absolutely correct. I learned right here in the Congress of the United States from my late colleague, Congressman Henry Hyde, who introduced me to a number of consultants who impressed upon us the need to move to public-private partnerships in order to handle the Nation's future infrastructure demands.

Our research taught me that the old method for financing and building airports is absolutely obsolete. It doesn't work anymore. In short, the paradigm has shifted since 1969 when America built its last major airport. The old model used to work like this:

Runways and taxiways were built and financed by cities. A city would then recoup its investments by collecting landing fees from airlines and eventually get paid back over the next 30 years. Under that same old model, terminals were built and financed by the airlines. That's why O'Hare has a United terminal and an American terminal, et cetera.

But guess what. The old model, Mr. Speaker, does not work anymore. Most cities cannot afford to pay for runways and then wait 30 years to get reimbursed, and they're reluctant to hit up taxpayers for more money. Likewise, most airlines, many of whom are teetering on bankruptcy, can no longer afford to invest in and build massive terminal buildings. The new model is the public-private partnership.

Under the public-private partnership, cities create airport commissions. They form participating governments who then enter into an intergovernmental agreement. And by entering into that intergovernmental agreement, they form an airport authority with the State; the State which owns lands, leases land or yields land to the airport authority who then, in turn, provides that land to the developers. The developers make an investment in the airfield. They build the airport. The income from the airfield comes to the developers who then pay the public entity rent.

And that's how the engine of our economy for a local airport begins to spin. And it continues to spin as the airport begins to grow and begins to manifest itself in the form of productivity for those who take advantage of the facility. If the private sector does it right, they reap profits that can then be shared with the communities that formed the airport commission. This model is exactly what has been used at new airport projects around the world for the last 40 years.

The main reason this model hasn't been used in the U.S. is simple. During the last 40 years, we haven't built any new airports. In Chicago, we are following the new international model of the public-private partnership. First, we formed the local airport commission to create and oversee the public-private partnership. That commission, formed in 2003, is comprised of 21 municipalities from three counties, Cook, Will and Kankakee, located near the airport site. These communities, who call themselves the Abraham Lincoln National Airport Commission, or ALNAC, work essentially as one city, and they make up the public side of the partnership.

These 21 communities, again, acting as one airport commission, then conducted a global competition to find private developers who had the expertise, the experience, the wherewithal and the willingness to design, finance, construct, and manage a new airport. Seventeen companies from around the world ultimately responded to the commission's requests for proposals. At the conclusion of that global search, ALNAC, the public commission, selected two companies with aviation expertise, SNC Lavalin and L-COR, as its private development partners. These two companies have built new airports or expanded existing airports in countries from Europe, Africa, North America and from Central America to South America. They've done so with great success, and, more importantly, they've done it with their own money at no cost to the taxpayers.

Now, for anyone who is thinking this is just a pie-in-the-sky concept or some airport fantasy, I must say that the Governor of Illinois has carefully vetted the ALNAC proposal. Governor Quinn, his lawyers, outside counsel, and the Illinois Department of Transportation spent close to a year vetting all of ALNAC's work. In the end, the Governor's office found that ALNAC's public-private partnership is legal, is viable and capable.

And I'm proud of what this local commission has done. I'm proud of our private partners who want to invest $700 million in Chicago's new airport. And I'm proud and happy that President Obama and Illinois Governor Quinn have a clear understanding that public-private partnerships are capable, indeed, perhaps necessary in building, financing and operating world-class airports that will expand the Nation's aviation capacity and create jobs without using taxpayer dollars faster than any single thing that this Congress can do.

All of us in public life, as well as many leaders in the private sector, are feeling the pressure to create jobs and to rebuild America, or as the President said, it's time for us to take off our slippers, put on our marching shoes, stop complaining, stop whining; we've got work to do.

Now I want to take a few minutes, Mr. Speaker, to show you just how this plan would work and introduce you to a key concept that makes this financial model better than the one that exists at virtually every U.S. airport in the United States. The concept is called common-use gates. It simply means that airlines no longer build terminals; so, therefore, they can no longer control the gates. Instead, the gates are built and controlled by a private company that has expertise in running airports. For airlines, it means all gates can be used by any airline. And they pay for just the hour or so that they use to unload passengers, reload, and then take off. The common-use gate concept, which is used at modern airports everywhere outside the United States, means terminals need less space, which in turn means they cost less money. Ultimately, common-use gates should save travelers time and money.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, I'm proud to report that the Abraham Lincoln National Airport Commission, or ALNAC, along with its 21 municipal members and our private developers, have developed a fully vetted, cost-effective plan to update and expand our Nation's infrastructure, which costs taxpayers nothing but will create tens of thousands of jobs.

This airport, Mr. Speaker, is bigger than just an airport in my congressional district and for Chicago's Southland. This airport would change the way we build things in the United States and will have national and global significance. This Republican-led Congress hasn't been very helpful to President Obama. In fact, this Congress is determined not to pass a single piece of legislation that will help him put the American people back to work.

Since the President is issuing executive orders and looking for other ways to go around this Republican-led and dysfunctional Congress, the beauty of the Jackson plan to build a third airport in the Chicago area is that we don't need Congress or the Illinois Legislature to vote on or approve anything. We just need the signature of the Governor of Illinois on a land lease.

So what I need you to do is call the Governor of Illinois, 312-814-2121, that's 312-814-2121, and tell him to lease the land to the Abraham Lincoln National Airport Commission so we can give President Obama a victory and begin to put the American people back to work.

Mr. Speaker, may I inquire as to how much time I have remaining?

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. JACKSON of Illinois. Fantastic, Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the gentleman for clarifying that for me.

I want to spend the next 29 minutes explaining to the American people how modern airports will be constructed in the United States.

This is a mockup of the facility that we seek to build in the Second Congressional District. It's a small airport with five simple gates whose basic footprint fits the local vernacular of the communities that it will be built in. Between the Village of Monee, University Park, Creek, Beecher and Peotone exist 25,000 acres of land, 25,000 acres of land that have been designated by the Federal Aviation Administration for the building of a major airfield. The light area on this map represents land that has been acquired by the State of Illinois for the purposes of building a major airport.

So the private companies, the private developers have done, Mr. Speaker, an analysis to determine what is the appropriate size of the airport that they should build as soon as humanly possible for the purposes of relieving air traffic in the region. And their analysis showed that if the airport were built in 2007 at the low emplanement hours, or deplanement hours, 174 passengers would use the airport. The median number of passengers per hour would be 347, or the high number of passengers 695 passengers per hour.

What's fascinating, Mr. Speaker, is the near perfect correlation between the median numbers in 2007 and the low numbers in 2008, the median numbers in 2008 and the low numbers in 2009--or let's fast forward to where we are today, the median numbers in 2010, the low numbers in 2011. The median numbers in 2011 compared to the out numbers in 2012, what you can see is that because of the number of passengers who use the airport every hour in succeeding years, it is possible to design an airport in 25,000 acres but actually scale it back to the size of an airport that we need to build today, in other words, a cost-effective airport, annual emplanements by 2012, 2,200,000; 2013, 2,700,000; 2023, 7,600,000.

Once, Mr. Speaker, we have determined how many passengers would use such an airport, we then have to right-size the airport. We have to determine the number of aircraft operations per hour that would have to exist at such a facility or be used at such a facility in order to determine the size of the airport that we need to build.

And once again, the median numbers equal the low numbers in each of the succeeding years. Assuming an airport is built today, 31 total aircraft operations by 2012, 34 by 2013, 38 by 2018, and so forth, a near perfect correlation, suggesting that every single year from the moment this airport is built it will continue to expand.

Well, Mr. Speaker, unlike using the old government model, because we are using a for-profit model in a public-private partnership, we should never build more airport than we need. We should never build more bridge than we need. We should never build more road than we need because the private sector doesn't have money to waste quite like government has money apparently to waste. So we have to right-size the airport. And as a result of the passenger emplanement and the number of aircraft that take off from the airport every hour, we are able to determine the size of an airport that we need to build by 2008, 2011, 2013, and 2018.

The most cost-effective airport, Greenfield Airport, starts out with five gates, about 1,300 parking spaces, a terminal size of about 142,000 square feet, and an apron of about 933,000 square feet. Remember, Mr. Speaker, not one dollar spent by taxpayers to arrive at this jobs plan.

Well, here's the key to what we're trying to build in Illinois with the Governor's signature--provided enough of our constituents today call the Governor at 312-814-2121 and tell him to sign the lease to the local commission. The real key to the concept and the success of this airport, unlike traditional airport models, is the idea of a common-use terminal. It's really a private sector model because we're not building more airport than we need. It doesn't compete with O'Hare Airport; it doesn't compete with Midway Airport. In fact, Mr. Speaker, how could a five-gate airport compete with O'Hare Airport or compete with Midway Airport? It simply can't. However, a five-gate airport represents 15,000 right-now jobs for the local communities that need them the most.

That's why Congressman Jackson is hanging around airports. Congressman, all you do is talk about airports. Yeah, because with airports come Hyatt Hotels and Hilton Hotels and Fairmont Hotels, and Avis and Hertz and Dollar and all kinds of businesses that tend to locate near airports. Look at Arlington, Virginia. It is developed because it is close to Reagan Airport. Look at the Dulles corridor, home to 575,000 people who work every day because of the airport. Look at the Baltimore-Washington corridor; it's tied to the airport.

Look at all of the jobs and growth and economic activity out by O'Hare Airport. Look at the economic activity by LAX. The FAA said 20 years ago that we need to build 10 new airports in America the size of O'Hare Airport to handle the aviation problem then. How many have we built in America while China's going to build 100 new airports? In 10 years, how many have we built in America? Not one.

So, what's the key, Congressman Jackson, to this airport? Well, the reason this airport's going to be successful is because United, American, and Qantas do not own gates at this airport. This airport is not contingent upon them assuming any debt or liability for building the airport. Virgin Airlines does not own a gate at this airport. The airport is paid for, Mr. Speaker, by the private sector. American is welcomed to land and use the gate. For the 1 hour that it takes them to let their passengers on, let their passengers off, and get back on the runway, that's all the amount of time that we charge American, United, Qantas Air or Virgin Airways.

So when you walk into this airport, it looks like a modern facility. There's a big flat-screen television set behind the ticket agent, and it has the logo of United Airlines or some airline on it. After the plane boards and then takes off, guess what, Mr. Speaker. The flat-screen television set, suddenly it has the American logo on it, the same gate as the American flight pulls up to that terminal and takes off. A much more efficient method of using gates at airports. This is the key concept behind making the airport successful.

But because we are able to project well into the future, in a $25,000-acre footprint, the size of a future facility, we start out with hand drawing with a five-gate airport, but we're already contemplating what it would mean using the profits to build roads, to build the infrastructure to make the airport work.

As you can see in the 10-to-25-year plan, we're contemplating a ring road like a modern airport, where you enter and you exit the airport, and if necessary you return to baggage claim or to departing passengers under a much broader facility.

In the plus-25-year plan, we're already widening the processor, that is, the processor where ticket agents and the Transportation Security Administration help process passengers to global locations not only within the United States, but around the world.

So because of accurate forecasting, Mr. Speaker, we build a small terminal in land owned by the State with a small apron of about 933,000 square feet and one 112,000-foot runway, which is large enough to handle contemporary serious aircraft, including new aircraft that are presently coming online. As you can see, we've already contemplated a small cargo space.

Remember, I said I only wanted to build with $700 million, not paid for by the taxpayers. I just wanted to build five gates--one, two, three, four, five. But very quickly, for very little money, the airport expands to a 13-gate airport. But for five gates, I've already employed 15,000 Americans. A 13-gate airport employs 30,000 Americans.

We're already focusing on phase two. We tear down the wall between phase one and phase two, and now the airport, Mr. Speaker, looks like this. Then we tear down the wall, a modest expansion of the airport for phase three. We build phase four. We're contemplating phase five. And then while this part of the airport is functioning, we then go back to the other side of the airport and modernize its processor without any disruption in customer service. What started out as a one, two, three, four, five-gate airport, it's now already a 40-gate airport, not paid for by the taxpayers, not paid for by the airlines, with common-use gates and expanding infrastructure.

Very quickly, the airport, Mr. Speaker, has now moved to a modern-looking facility, paid for by the private sector in a public-private partnership, including its roads. The roads that approach the top of the airport are for departing planes. We've already got a ring road now coming around the airport for arriving passengers. This 80-gate airport represents nearly 130,000 jobs to a local economy.

There is absolutely nothing that Congress can do to compete with an airport. If there's going to be public works projects, a public works bill, we heard the President of the United States stand right there and say he refuses to accept that in America we can't build one new airport while China is building 100 new airports. I'm taking this time, Mr. Speaker, to carefully explain to my colleagues how airports can be built without you appropriating a single dollar.

This is all I'm building, Mr. Speaker, one runway and five gates. But over time, following the model that I proposed, one runway and five gates quickly becomes an 80-gate airport now needing two runways. This 80-gate airport represents more than 130,000 jobs to a local economy, and we need to be building 10 airports just like this to alleviate today's aviation and capacity demands.

And you can also see under our airport in our field, we're already looking at an expanded cargo area for UPS, Federal Express, and other cargo-related international trade that would be the by-product of building this airport.

As I shared with you at the very outset of my presentation, Mr. Speaker, while we're building five gates and one runway, the airport is being built in a 25,000-acre footprint. O'Hare Airport is in a 7,000-acre footprint. The footprint in my congressional district is four times the size of the present footprint of O'Hare International Airport, which is somewhere between the busiest airport in the world, the second busiest, or the third busiest airport in the world.

Well, when you start talking about an airport of this magnitude in a 25,000-acre footprint, you're obviously talking about a global facility. In the Midwest, it means an absolutely functioning O'Hare airport. It means a strong and strengthened Midway Airport. But five gates and one runway will eventually become this facility, four runways, 200-plus gates and massive cargo areas, both north and south, within the airport footprint.

It's actually kind of humbling, Mr. Speaker. It's humbling to know that for 17 years I've by been fighting to build, without asking Congress for a single dollar, one runway and five gates, in land already owned by the State of Illinois, to build this one runway and five gates to create 15,000 jobs.

It's humbling to know that I probably won't live to see this facility, the 25-year-plus plan. And there's almost no one in this Congress who's likely to be living to ever see this facility. But because of the size and scope and the planning of the private sector, we can already anticipate what the future of the airport will be, provided passenger forecasts and demand continue to grow.

But I can scan and scale this very large facility, Mr. Speaker, all the way back to this little bitty facility that got started because President Barack Obama said we need to use public private partnerships to build airports. Why? Because airlines can't afford them anymore, and municipalities don't build runways anymore. They simply can't afford it, and so we have a model to make it happen.

What are the public sector benefits? Job creation, 15,000. Sales and income taxes from businesses and individuals who live and dwell around the facility. Off-airport real estate taxes. People who live close to these things, their property values go up. The quality of their lives go up. And with the buffer between the last runway and the nearest communities being more than a mile, there's a significant noise reduction factor already built into the appropriate and proper planning of this airport.

The net present value of the public-private joint venture, cash flow to participating governments estimated at nearly $230 million annually.

Now, what do you do with $230 million? Well, as I shared with you at the beginning, the State of Illinois has only purchased this land, Mr. Speaker, just the light yellow land. But the entire footprint is the entire green land.

Well, with $230 million of net present value and profit from the facility, which goes to the private developer and comes back to the commission in the form of rent, that money begins to purchase the remaining elements of the footprint in anticipation and with the expectation that the facility will expand. So when the private developer says it's time to expand the airport, the land has already been acquired by the government entity, again, not at a cost to the taxpayer.

But every time this airport expands by another 10 gates, it creates another 15,000 jobs to a local economy. No road can do that. No bridge can do that.

Mr. Speaker, may I inquire as to how much time I have left.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. JACKSON of Illinois. I'm really excited about that, Mr. Speaker. Ten more minutes, I think I can talk till tomorrow. That's what I kind of like about these Special Order speeches.

What's the role of the public sector? Well, it's very limited, Mr. Speaker. It's not that complicated. We're a landlord.

I've been fighting for the last 7 years back home. A lot of people say we want to be in control. Jackson, we like your ideas, we like your money, we like your developers. We want to be in control.

Mr. Speaker, that's the old model, and they think like they're still participating in the old model. That's not the new model, Mr. Speaker. The only role that the public sector provides or plays in a public-private partnership is they're the landlord.

That's all.

Imagine this. The city of Washington, D.C. wants to attract Target, a shopping center, to its city. So it has land somewhere in Washington. The city owns the land. It might be a vacant lot. It might be a dilapidated area. The city owns the land.

So it says to Target, Target, we want to enter into a public-private partnership with you. We have land; you know how to run Target. If we give you the land, will you build Target?

Target says, yes. And for some lease fee, some arrangement between the local government and Target, Target builds its own store, maybe a 25-year lease, maybe a 99-year lease. The only role that the government plays is in leasing the land. That's it.

Unfortunately, that's not the Illinois way. That's not the Chicago way. The Chicago way is we need to be telling people who are running their business how to run their business.

You can't do that. If we lease the land and Target builds the store, Target runs their own store. The business on the public land runs their own business.

What do we get from it? We get taxes. We get employed Americans. We get economic activity and less crime and less violence. There's a benefit to the society when we make the trade-off in the public-private partnership where there is governance over the land. There are lease terms, but we're not in the management and the day-to-day operation of that business.

The same is true of this new airport. Most public airports, the local mayor, the local city council, the local politicians are all involved in the business, trying to get their cousins hired and get their friends hired.

Not in the new model. In the new model we have the land, and we turn it over to the developers to make judgments about what is the most cost-effective way to run an airport.

Jackson, if you would just turn the developers over to us and let us--no, no, no. I've been working on this too long. The way to do this right is for the politicians to stay out of it and turn it over to the private sector so that they can do their job.

I've got to be honest with you. I ain't never ran a business before in my life. I came right from the seminary and right from law school to Congress. What kind of advice can I give an airport developer?

What kind of advice can anyone who's never run an airport before give some professional who's in the airport business? Absolutely none.

And so you need to have a hands-off approach to allowing a public-private partnership to operate at a profit without political interference.

Land, that's your public sector role. You're a landlord. You're responsible for getting utilities to the fence. That's what you're responsible for. You're responsible for regulatory permits and approvals. That's what the public is responsible for. You're responsible for highways and transit improvements, which the public-private partnership can, in fact, help pay for because it's a for-profit venture making a profit.

So, Mr. Speaker, I've talked about the need to build a new airport. I showed you tonight that we don't need the Congress of the United States that does not want to help Barack Obama. We don't need Congress for nothing to get this model moving.

We just need the Governor of the State of Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn, area code (312)814-2121, to lease the land to the governments that have established this commission.

From that we will have a national model emerge on how to put the American people back to work. It can start in Illinois, but it can spread very quickly by bringing the $2.5 trillion in private sector money that is sitting on the sidelines and presently not engaging the economy.

So, Mr. Speaker, I stripped the idea of an airport out of this model of a public-private partnership. This can be any government entity.

It then enters into an intergovernmental agreement with other governments with an understanding that it will have a relationship to the Federal Government, the State government, or local governments in the form of land or utilities or whatever is required in order to get the business started.

We then lease the land to a developer, who then invests in the land to create jobs and economic opportunities for the American people. The profits from the activity are paid to the developer to help them satisfy and settle the obligations associated with the initial investment. And then the developer rents the land or pays rent to the government entity established by the local government and the profits can also be shared by local governments.

Mr. Speaker, it doesn't have to be airports. Public-private partnerships can also build roads. They may end up being toll roads because if the private sector makes an investment in a toll road, in a road that the public is going to use, certainly they need to get their money back. So how do they get their money back?

Well, after they've made the investment, it has to be a toll road. Public-private partnerships can work. Public-private partnerships can work for bridges. It may be a toll bridge. Public-private partnerships can work.

Mr. Speaker, if we offer as a Congress the kinds of incentives that encourage public-private partnerships, we can put the American people to work in quick order.

Mr. Speaker, I am particularly honored and privileged that you've allowed me the opportunity to share with my colleagues and with the American people the importance of a project in my congressional district. I am particularly honored that my constituents have been leading this charge for building new airports in the United States. We need to build 10 of them just like this.

I'm hoping, Mr. Speaker, that those of us who want to see and help President Barack Obama be successful that we will call 312-814-2121 and encourage the Governor of the State of Illinois to give Barack Obama the victory that he needs and the victory that he deserves that can show us a way to put the American people to work without raising taxes, without borrowing more money, without passing another government program.

Public-private partnerships, Mr. Speaker, can work. I'm asking my colleagues and those who can hear my voice to give the people of the Second Congressional District of Illinois a chance to get one started so we can show you that it works.

I thank the Speaker, and I yield back the balance of my time.


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