City Council committee backs Balram Bheodari as Atlanta airport chief

Hartsfield-Jackson deputy general manager Balram Bheodari. File photo. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
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Hartsfield-Jackson deputy general manager Balram Bheodari. File photo. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Hartsfield-Jackson veteran currently is interim manager

An Atlanta City Council committee voted unanimously in favor of confirming Balram Bheodari as Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport’s top executive Wednesday.

Bheodari has been interim manager of the Atlanta airport since April, when John Selden stepped down from the position to take a job with an airport development company in Saudi Arabia.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the appointment in early June. It would become effective following confirmation by the full city council, which is expected next week.

A retired Army pilot, Bheodari was previously deputy manager of operations at Hartsfield-Jackson. He was interim airport manager in 2018 before Selden was brought in.

“He’s a great operations guy over the airport, for many many years,” said Andre Dickens, chair of the city council transportation committee, which oversees the airport.

The transportation committee voted 5-0 in favor of Bheodari’s confirmation.

Bheodari began working at Hartsfield-Jackson more than 20 years ago. He left in 2015 to take a job as general manager of George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, but returned to the Atlanta airport the following year.

In a memo to city council, Bottoms wrote that Bheodari “has seen the organization through some of the most difficult times in aviation history, from 9/11 to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

She added that as deputy manager of operations he also navigated Hartsfield-Jackson “through the constant uncertainty of 2020, from the drawdown to resumption of its expansive operations” and said his experience makes him “exceptionally qualified” to be airport manager.

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