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Donald Trump, the ‘Third World’, and US airports. Insulting to third world airports. PPPs are needed

Politics is a hotbed of hyperbole, but the recently concluded US Presidential election reached new levels. Among the rhetoric was a reference made early in Oct-2016 by the now President-elect, and never willingly understated, Donald Trump concerning the condition of the nation’s airports, which he described as being of ‘Third World’ standard.

Mr Trump is not the first US politician to complain about airport infrastructure in the USA and neither is he the first to describe it as ‘Third World.’ It is certainly true that many airports lack investment and are shabby compared with their peers in Europe and the Asia Pacific region. Moreover, Congress has repeatedly called for much greater investment, as have Airports Council International North America and other interested organisations.

But is the criticism fair? This report examines the operational and construction activities at US airports that he has singled out. It goes on to look at airport infrastructure financing under the Trump regime, and to consider other relevant aspects of his policies.

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