“The only way you’re going to have a serious conversation about a second location or a reliever location is by having an entity that has the interests of the entire state at hand,” Jones said.
Attorneys for the city and a bond attorney said even if an authority can take control of the airport, it would cost considerably more to get bond financing — in part because many of the bonds can’t be repaid early.
Some raised concerns that the city and Delta Air Lines struck the lease deal, including the provision for no change in control, after the state began discussing the idea of taking over the Atlanta airport.
“I find it interesting,” said state Sen. Tyler Harper, that it happened “in the same year or about the same time those discussions are happening under the Gold Dome.” He said he wants the committee “to dig in more deeply” into the issue.
Greg Richardson, chief financial officer at Hartsfield-Jackson, said “it was probably top of mind for lots of folks during these conversations.”