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Methodists arrive at St. Louis Lambert International Airport

Methodist Orlando Cruz of Angola picks up his luggage after arriving Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, at St. Louis Lambert International Airport. Cruz is one of thousands of United Methodists in town to attend a special session to address homosexuality in the church. Photo by Laurie Skrivan,

Regarding “Potentially privatizing Lambert airport takes another step forward in search for potential bidders” (Oct. 5): In all the ongoing coverage of whether to privatize St. Louis Lambert International Airport, there is a central question that has not been answered: What public benefit is there to privatizing the airport? Elected decision-makers don’t owe their offices to airlines or airport operators. All of the elected officials currently deliberating Lambert’s fate owe their responsibility for making such decisions to voters, real people who fly and real people who elected them.

There may be good reasons to privatize Lambert and maybe the flying (and nonflying) public would benefit, but that case has yet to be made — although it appears the process is moving ahead full tilt without any such public evidence.

One main reason why Better Together was failing, even before the Steve Stenger episode became widely covered, is that the public case wasn’t effectively made. At least the Better Together people attempted to make a public case. With Lambert, the decision-makers appear happy to move privatization along with no interest in how the public will be impacted.

Privatization alone won’t bring back international flights; Lambert has suffered from greater macroeconomic trends that have also negatively hit other former hub cities: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Memphis.

If there’s an obvious benefit for privatizing the airport, let’s hear it.

Tim Hand • University City