This year's effort, which narrowly cleared the Senate, is now caught up in a broader legislative tiff with Delta Air Lines. It was tied to what once was a tax-break bill and has since transformed into an effort to impose a big excise tax on fuel that airlines use.
City officials sound increasingly confident that House Speaker David Ralston, who is skeptical of the bill, will scuttle the effort. But the fact that it's gained any traction at all has worried city elders and business groups.
Caught in the middle was Jim Squires, the Norfolk Southern chief executive who pulled the trigger on the move. As one of the state’s leading business figures, he was asked his thoughts on the airport takeover bid.
He dodged the question, saying he had no opinion on the measure, but pointedly thanked Bottoms.
“Without her support, this project wouldn’t have happened,” he said. “We feel very fortunate to be coming to Atlanta under her leadership.”