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Vancouver Airport Services, financial partners, to operate Chicago’s Midway airport

Sept. 30, 2008, Richmond, B.C. - A company partly owned by the Vancouver Airport Authority and its financial partners have won a US$2.5 billion contract to privatize Chicago's Midway Airport.


September 30, 2008
By Carey Fredericks

Sept. 30, 2008, Richmond, B.C. – A company partly owned by the Vancouver Airport
Authority and its financial partners have won a US$2.5 billion
contract to privatize Chicago's Midway Airport, the second biggest
airport in the big U.S. Midwestern city.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley announced the 99-year contract to
operate Chicago's smaller airport at a Tuesday news conference in
the Illinois city.

Separately, Vancouver Airport Services along with its financial
partners, subsidiaries of Wall Street banking giant Citigroup Inc.
(NYSE:C) and Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC), said the contract
means Midway will be the first privatized major airport in the
United States.

"This contract marks a milestone in the growth of our company,
and is a clear example of how we can leverage our success at home to
develop the best airports in the world," said Larry Berg, president
and CEO of the Vancouver Airport Authority, which owns half of
Vancouver Airport Services.

"Since the mid-1990s, our subsidiary . . . has grown from a
great idea into a global airport operator, and we're proud of this
homegrown success."

The Vancouver Airport Authority operates Vancouver International
Airport, Canada's second busiest airport, which expects to handle
17.9 million passengers this year.

The Vancouver Airport Authority is spending $1.4 billion to
expand the airport ahead of the 2010 Winter Olympics, which will be
held in Vancouver and other parts southern B.C.

The City of Chicago expects to get more than US$1 billion in net
proceeds from Tuesday's deal, with much of that money to be used for
infrastructure improvements.

Chicago applied two years ago to be part of a U.S. Federal
Aviation Administration pilot program to privatize up to five U.S.
airports.

The deal requires City Council approval. The mayor expects to
submit it to the council for their meeting next week.

Chicago Midway handled more than 19.3 million people and 304,000
aircraft operations in 2007. Together with the city's O'Hare Airport
it serves the third-largest urban area in the U.S., with a
population of 10 million people.

George Casey, president and CEO of Vancouver Airport Services,
said the transaction will help the company grow its already large
airport network.

"In addition, we can continue to partner with British Columbian
and Canadian firms exporting know-how, knowledge and best
practices,'' he said. “The experience we have in transitioning
airports from government control to private sector management will
benefit the operation at Chicago Midway Airport."

Vancouver Airport Services is North America's biggest global
airport investment, management and development company, with 18
airports in seven countries including Canada. The company is a 50-50
partnership between the Vancouver Airport Authority and Citi
Infrastructure.