Atlanta City Council Expresses Opposition to Proposed State Takeover of Atlanta Airport

The Atlanta City Council expressed its opposition Monday to Senate Bill 131, a measure that would place control of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport under a state created airport authority appointed by state officials to oversee operations.

At the Monday full council meeting, Council member Andre Dickens introduced a resolution unanimously signed by the council that opposes any state action that changes the existing governance structure of the world’s busiest airport.

“The citizens of Georgia support local control over state regulation. The city of Atlanta and airport are excelling in terms of economic growth and opportunity for the region. We don’t need an extra layer of oversight,” Dickens said.

Senate Bill 131, also called the Georgia Major Airports Authority, narrowly passed out of the Senate Transportation Committee last week. The bill would give the Authority oversight of construction, equipment, improvement, maintenance and operations at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

photo by formulanone from Huntsville, United States

In January, the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission expressed concern that a state-run airport authority may impact credit rating and debt.

In the resolution introduced by Dickens, he shares concern that a takeover would cause fiscal harm to the state’s credit rating, and ultimately the welfare of the residents of the state.

“A takeover would inject instability and uncertainty around an important local, regional, and national asset, threatening the long-running stability and track record of success at the airport,” he said.

The Senate is expected to vote on SB 131 before Thursday’s Crossover Day deadline.

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