Air travelers departing from Detroit may fly the friendly skies, but before they get airborne, they often must deal with the headaches of passenger-unfriendly Detroit Metro Airport.

Metro Airport, owned and operated by Wayne County, was recently ranked dead last in a nationwide survey on passenger satisfaction.

Privatization—turning over management of the airport to a private company—could end Detroit Metro’s nightmares of long lines, poor baggage handling, rude service, and inadequate parking.

Other cities and counties have achieved dramatic results by privatizing their airports. Privately managed Indianapolis International Airport cut its costs while boosting revenue 20 percent with the addition of new stores, parking spaces, and a shuttle service.

Private management of Pittsburgh International Airport has likewise produced savings and soaring revenue, generating 900 new jobs and $550 million in new tax monies for Allegheny County, which continues to own the airport.

Other countries, such as Great Britain and Canada, have completely sold off their largest airports to private firms with even greater success.

Privatization can also help Detroit Metro Airport to lower costs, improve service, and keep Michigan air travelers flying high.

For the Mackinac Center, this is Joseph Lehman.