Manchester Airport is bidding to take over a Chicago airport as it seeks to expand overseas.
A bid to run Midway International Airport is being put together in partnership with Australian investment partner Industry Funds Management.
It is one of 16 groups also trying to buy what is America's 26th busiest airport but it is an indication of the current ambition at Manchester Airports Group (MAG).
Bolton Council has a stake in MAG as do each each of the 10 local authorities which make up Greater Manchester.
The group currently runs Manchester, East Midlands, Bournemouth and Humberside airports and it recently bought Stansted for £1.5bn.
Manchester Airport would be keen to lease, operate and improve Midway for up to 40 years.
There would be no financial involvement. The deal would be to help run operations there.
Midway carried 19.5m passengers last year, only slightly fewer than Manchester.
A City of Chicago spokesman said: “We can confirm that Manchester Airports Group was one of the 16.”
A MAG spokesman said: “MAG is not providing any equity to a deal. The airport group may provide operational consultancy services later on, if requested.”