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Atlanta calls foul on Paulding pursuit of commercial airport service

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Lawsuit alleges broken promise to not compete with Hartsfield-Jackson 

A view of the existing beige and orange concourses.
Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Google Maps

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has long been the world’s most travelled airport, and city officials are doing everything in their power to retain the title by limiting competition.

Unlike most major cities, with multiple commercial airports, Atlanta has only Hartsfield-Jackson. However, Paulding County and the Paulding County Airport Authority are making moves to open up commercial service to Silver Comet Field at Paulding Airport—located nearly an hour northwest of downtown Atlanta.

But, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the City of Atlanta has sued Paulding County in order to block the effort to commercialize the airport.

Ironically, the issue stems from a decision made by the City of Atlanta in the 1970s.

Nearly 50 years ago, the City of Atlanta purchased thousands of acres of land in Paulding and Dawson counties for potential future construction of a second airport.

While the airports never materialized, the swaths of land were protected from development. In 2007, Atlanta sold Paulding County a small portion of the tract for construction of a general aviation airport, with the stipulation that it never compete with Hartsfield-Jackson.

Clearly, Atlanta is not enthused about the current push for commercial flights.

With both sides lawyered up, and Atlanta supported by Delta, expect to see a jumbo-jet-sized showdown.