- The Washington Times - Monday, April 20, 2009

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago officials say talks on a $2.5 billion deal to lease Midway Airport to private investors have collapsed because of the economy.

The deal could have made Midway the first major airport to go private under a federal pilot program.

Chicago Chief Financial Officer Gene Saffold said Monday the city and private investors terminated a 99-year lease agreement because the global financial crunch has made it impossible for the investors to secure funding.

Saffold says the city of Chicago still will keep $126 million in money already paid by investors as part of the agreement.

Last month, a two-week extension closing date had been granted to give investors from New York, Boston and Canada six more months.

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