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Tennessee city looks to privatize airport

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nashville’s mayor may privatize the operations of city-owned Nashville International Airport to generate funding for mass transit in middle Tennessee.

The Tennessean reports Mayor Megan Barry’s office confirmed hearing a presentation in May from Oaktree Capital Management, an investment firm that has also made bids to run other government-owned airports. No deal is on the table yet.Barry’s Chief Operating Officer Rich Riebeling says privatizing the airport would help fund a $6 billion proposed transit system.He says a deal would involve a long-term lease of the airport, not a sale. The city would issue a request for proposals for operators if it goes down that path.

Airport Authority board chairman Bobby Joslin says the board has not been involved in the talks and predicts privatization ultimately will not happen.

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