Speaking to the committee Wednesday were Michael Bell, who was chief financial officer at the Atlanta airport decades ago and wrote a 1980 dissertation that found an airport authority would be beneficial, and Robert Highsmith, outside counsel for the City of Atlanta.
While some other major airports around the country are run by authorities, Highsmith said “a large number of airports are in fact run by city and county elected officials and people appointed by them,” as Atlanta’s airport is, adding that it is “in strong capable hands.”
The committee is also weighing how an airport authority could explore adding a second commercial airport for the region.
Jones said the committee will seek to answer three questions: Does it benefit the state? Will the Federal Aviation Administration approve it? And, how much would it cost to restructure the airport’s bonds?
The idea of a state takeover of City of Atlanta-run Hartsfield-Jackson, the world's busiest airport, faces opposition from Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Delta Air Lines.