Security lines wrap through the atrium and around the baggage areas of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM

Georgia lawmaker considers bill to create state-run airport authority

A Butts County lawmaker said he thinks legislators should have oversight of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

State Sen. Bert Jones, R-Jackson, is drafting a bill that would create a state-run airport authority with appointees from business and aviation fields from across Georgia.

“The airport is the largest economic engine in the Southeast,” he said. “It’s got international implications to it.

“We’re a state of about 10 million folks. I think we should at least have an operation that has folks from all over the state to have a say in how it is operated.”

Jones said he began drafting the bill last year, before December’s power outage that left travelers stranded for nearly 12 hours, but he isn’t sure when — or if — he will file it.

Similar bills filed in the past have gained little traction.

Jones said he knows the idea of changing oversight of the airport from Atlanta to Georgia would be controversial.

“Right now I’m gathering information and meeting with officials,” Jones said. “Just having conversation.”

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