Paulding airport: Mediation planned to resolve lawsuits over commercialization


Paulding airport: Mediation planned to resolve lawsuits over commercialization

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Kelly Yamanouchi/AJC@ATL
June 25, 2014 - Paulding County - Planes are parked on the tarmac in an area where jet operations are planned. Construction is under way on new hangers (right). Taxi way expansion has been completed, and construction continues in FBO area of Paulding County Airport. First, Delta CEO Richard Anderson said he would fight Paulding County's effort to commercialize its airport. Then residents filed four legal challenges. Now, the city of Atlanta is threatening legal action, saying Paulding, which purchased land from Atlanta for the airport back in 2007, is in breach of contract on that deal. Paulding officials deny that and say Atlanta's opposition flies in the face of the regionalism that Mayor Kasim Reed spoke about to leaders there a few years ago. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

The Paulding County Airport Authority voted Monday to enter mediation to resolve lawsuits challenging its plans for a second commercial airport in metro Atlanta.

Plans are for the attorneys representing Paulding residents, the airport authority, airport developer Silver Comet, the City of Atlanta and the U.S. Department of Justice representing the Federal Aviation Administration to go into mediation in an attempt to resolve the disputes over plans to commercialize the Paulding airport.

Paulding’s airport authority and Silver Comet announced in 2013 that they planned to commercialize the airport and attract airline service, but residents, Paulding County and the city of Atlanta have sued to stop it and there are about seven lawsuits and legal challenges pending. Paulding resident Sue Wilkins, one of the plaintiffs opposed to commercialization of the airport, said: “I remain positive and hopeful that a satisfactory solution can be reached for everyone involved.”

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