Airport manager gets $274k in pay and benefits

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport's new general manager will get a compensation package worth about $274,327 when benefits are figured in, according to city documents.

That package includes Louis Miller's $221,000 salary, as well as $25,100 for relocation expenses and $6,000 for a car allowance. Other benefits include retirement, health care and other insurance and Blackberry service, according to documents submitted to City Council as it prepares to consider confirmation of Mayor Kasim Reed's appointment of Miller.

Miller's salary is less than that of former Hartsfield-Jackson general manager Ben DeCosta, and less than Miller's previous salary of $253,000 as chief executive of the Tampa International Airport.

"It says something about Mr. Miller that he was willing to take this job at the salary that he has agreed to and no contract as a part of it," council transportation committee chairman C.T. Martin said at a meeting Wednesday. "The airport is the one part of city government that's most sensitive."

While DeCosta had a contract, Miller and everyone else in the Reed administration will work without contracts. Miller's salary ties him with two other officials as the highest-paid members of Reed's administration.

Miller, who started his job Sept. 27, attended the committee meeting and assured members he plans to meet with them.

"We have just had an awful lot going on," Miller said.

This week, Miller and other airport officials, the mayor and Delta executives met with ratings agencies in preparation for issuing $640 million in construction bonds for the airport's new international terminal, set to open in 2012. The bond sale is expected to close Nov. 15.

The transportation committee on Wednesday approved Miller's appointment, though council members Felicia Moore and Michael Julian Bond abstained, saying they had not yet met with him. The full council will consider confirmation at its meeting Monday.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.