Does Atlanta airport need fixing?

State Rep. Bob Smith, a Republican whose home district is based just south of Athens in Oconee County, is convinced that Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in need of state attention.

Specifically, he’s introduced legislation that would take authority for running the airport from the City of Atlanta and transfer it to an oversight board that consists of seven people.  The seven would be the mayor of Atlanta, the presiding officer of Atlanta City Council, the Fulton and Clayton County commission chairmen and three members appointed by the governor. 

 State Sen. Kasim Reed, an Atlanta Democrat who would like to be Mayor Shirley Franklin’s successor, joined airport chief Ben DeCosta at a public hearing Tuesday in opposing the bill.  The airport’s not broke so there’s no need to fix it, said DeCosta.

Smith cited long lines and other inconveniences and construction delays and cost overrruns on an international terminal as reasons to consider the change.  His bill was introduced too late to be considered this session and is intended, he told members of a House subcommittee, to start a discussion.  The discussion for DeCosta is that landing fees at the airport here are $1.25 per passenger compared to $6 in New York and are well below fees at major airports elsewhere.  Too, he said, in a just-reported survey of passenger satisfaction, 71 percent of Atlanta passengers thought their experience here “outstanding.”

Smith’s a solid, hard-working legislator who’s conscientious in representing what he believes to be the taxpayers’ best interests.   His bill won’t pass this year.  So here’s the discussion-starter Smith wants.  Should the state assume any greater role in the operation of Hartsfield-Atlanta International Airport? 

As a general rule,  I don’t want the state taking anything from a local government whether that’s an airport, a poorly-run hospital, a non-performing public school, the responsibilities of a dysfunctional school board, city council, water authority, or anything else.  The state has greater access to money but rarely has greater expertise in running any of those functions normally carried out by local governments and authorities.

60 comments Add your comment

Jackie

March 19th, 2009
5:21 pm

@Will

What part of that statement that you did not understand?
If a hot dog were $1, the cost of the hot dog is a $1.

@@

March 19th, 2009
6:42 pm

Actually Rodney, the stilettos do a lot for my big feet. If I wear flats, my toes arrive five minutes before the rest of me does.

Don’t ask…….it may destroy your illusion.

Hillbilly Deluxe

March 19th, 2009
7:27 pm

If you drive to the end of 400, turn right and go about a mile, you aren’t in White County.

@@

March 19th, 2009
7:52 pm

Hillbilly Deluxe:

Are you lost? Do I need to find out where you are going so that I can lead you?

I swear…..everytime “that saw”, did you call it? comes to mind, the uncontrollable laughter returns. I’m laughing right now!

Doesn’t matter who first said it, it was you that DELIVERED!

I will cherish it forever and think of you, dear Hillbilly D.

Steve

March 19th, 2009
9:15 pm

It takes YEARS to get anything done at the airport. And I’m not talking about the 5th runway or the new international termianl, either . . . Hell, the new rent-a-car rail-line is in it’s 3rd year, and it’s still not finished … It seems more days are spent not working on projects, than are actually spent working on projects . . .

Although I’m suprised at this new bill to transfer the airport to the State, I must say I welcome it’s move …

The City of Atlanta and ATL are Notoriously Corrupt … Greater Over-Sight can only be welcomed . . .
.

Carvel

March 19th, 2009
10:32 pm

They need a new airport in North Georgia. I get tired of driving all the way down to south atlanta and fight all that traffic and rif raf. There’s plenty of land available for a much bigger airport, with more parking.

Country Boy

March 20th, 2009
1:07 am

You must remember the airport is partially in Clayton County–nuff said. I remember when Clayton County was going to tax Delta big bucks on fuel used and C.E. Woolman said you do and we are moving to Tampa–believe Senators Russell and Talmadge got that straightend out. Then later the to be exits on the then to be built I-75 in Clayton and Henry Counties–Jezz, I almost forgot the crossing Lake Altoona for I-75. Who says politics doesn’t pay. No longer a citizen representative are politicans–they are now just a self centered profession.

The OF historian

rick

March 22nd, 2009
10:22 am

the best idea would be to privatize the airport and take it out of the city’s hands.
It is clear to all that the goverment can not run anything well.

Greg

July 31st, 2009
7:55 am

Atlanta is the worst airport in the world. I’ve traveled all over the world and I travel a lot domestically, but I have been delayed every single time I fly into Atlanta. There are just too
many people and too many planes. I will gladly pay an extra $100 to not fly through Atlanta ever again. Additionally, the customer service is the worst at any airport by far. Atlanta airport sucks.

harold seldon

November 25th, 2009
9:03 am

I AM IN AND OUT OF LOTS OF AIR PORTS, THIS IS THE LARGEST AND BUSSIEST AIR PORT IN THE WORLD AND SOME GREAT EATS AND SHOPS.ALSO RUN PRETTY EFFICENT. LOOK AT ALL OF THE CONSTRUCTION GOING ON WITH THE EXPANSION OF GROUND TRANPORTATION, RENTAL CAR CONSOLIDATION GARAGES. WHO WOULD THINK OF CHANGING SUCH A WELL RUN OPERATION, UNLESS THERE IS SOME THING IT FOR WHOM EVER IT MAY CONCERN.THERE ARE LOTS OF PEOPLE AND THINGS THAT I MAY DISAGREE WITH, THAT DOES NOT MEAN THOSE IN CHARGE ARE NOT SMART OR THE THINGS ARE NOT WORKING WELL. LET,S WORK ON PUTTING MORE LEGAL AMERICANS TO WORK AT THE GET RID OF THOSE CONTRACTORS THAT EMPLOY ELLEGAL IMAGRANTS, FOR EVERY IMAGRANT THAT SHOULD NOT BE WORKING AT THE AIRPORT THER COULD BE SOME FIVE(5)TOSIX(6)AMERICANS WORKING THERE.REMEBER IT IS COMSUMPTION THAT RULES WEALTH. THANKS.