Hartsfield-Jackson search prompts name-dropping

Among  them: Miguel Southwell, deputy director of  Miami  International Airport and a former Hartsfield-Jackson manager; John D.  Clark III, Indianapolis  Airport Authority executive director; and Larry Cox, president of Memphis International Airport.

However, because the official  search won’t start until Reed’s selection committee forms, it’s expected  that other candidates will emerge.

Some of the  country’s other high-volume airports, such as Chicago-O’Hare,  Dallas-Ft. Worth,  Denver, Los  Angeles and Phoenix are considered good  breeding grounds for managers who might run Atlanta’s airport, the world’s busiest.

DeCosta came to Atlanta  12 years ago from the authority that runs New York City-area airports. He retires June 30, and Reed has said he expects to have a replacement lined up by then.

Before Southwell  took the Miami position, he worked at Hartsfield-Jackson for 11 years, including a stint as interim assistant director. In Miami he is responsible for business retention and  development.

Reed has said he’d like Hartsfield-Jackson to be  a secondary hub to Miami for air cargo to Latin America. Miami is the top U.S. airport for international passenger traffic.

Southwell said he has not been contacted by the city.  But he said the Miami and Atlanta airports face similar challenges, adding, “I’d certainly like the opportunity to address those challenges  as I have here.”

Clark has headed the Indianapolis airport for about a year. Shortly before he took over,  Indianapolis opened a new 1.2 million square-foot airport complex. Clark  also was airport director in Detroit. He was not available for  comment.

Cox has run the Memphis airport since  1985 and was named airport manager of the year by the Federal Aviation  Administration’s Southern region in 1994.

As FedEx’s hub, Memphis  is the busiest cargo airport in the world, and it is a Delta Air Lines hub.
He said he has not been officially contacted and would not enter himself as a potential  candidate for the Hartsfield-Jackson job.

“I plan on completing my  career here at Memphis International Airport,” Cox said.

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