Atlanta City Council approves airport parking management contract

Parked cars are seen from the Hartsfield-Jackson domestic terminal south parking deck in Atlanta on Friday, April 8, 2022.   (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

Combined ShapeCaption
Parked cars are seen from the Hartsfield-Jackson domestic terminal south parking deck in Atlanta on Friday, April 8, 2022. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

The Atlanta City Council voted to approve a switch of contractors for the management of parking at Hartsfield-Jackson International, a key source of revenue for the world’s busiest airport.

The council voted in favor Monday of a $2.5 million contract with SP+ Red Bridge to manage its massive parking operation, which encompasses tens of thousands of spaces across multiple parking lots and decks on airport property.

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SP+ Red Bridge is a joint venture of of SP Plus Corp., formerly known as Standard Parking Corp., and Atlanta-based project management support services company Red Bridge Consulting. The term is five years.

Though the dollar figure for the contract is small, the management job is crucial to the airport because revenue Hartsfield-Jackson receives from its on-campus decks and lots are among its most important for funding operations.

SP+ Red Bridge will take over the contract from current airport parking contractor ABM-Lanier-Hunt, which has held the contract since 2017.

ABM-Lanier-Hunt along with another firm, LAZ-Hudson-G Force, also competed for the contract this year, but did not win after getting scores of 0 for financial capability. That’s because both companies did not complete a contractor financial disclosure page in the forms required for the contract, according to the city’s Department of Procurement, which handles city and airport contracting.

At a committee meeting last week, some council members raised concerns about the city’s contracting process, which requires extensive documentation and sometimes results in multiple contractors being disqualified for not completing the documents correctly.

The problem has caused extensive contract delays and generated criticism for years.

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The council’s transportation committee last week voted to put on hold a decision on an airport landscape maintenance contract because seven of the nine companies competing for it were disqualified.

In the case of the airport parking contract, the two firms the city said did not submit a required financial disclosure were not disqualified, but instead got lower scores and thus did not win, according to city chief procurement officer Martin Clarke.

Hartsfield-Jackson general manager Balram Bheodari said the airport’s only choice was to recommend awarding the contract to the company most responsible in its submission.

Preparing all of the documents required can be challenging for a company new to the city contracting process.

But, Bheodari added, “If you have an incumbent that failed to provide the needed documentation, something is wrong.”

Council members on the transportation committee said they want to hold a work session to discuss the issue.