Georgia lawmakers are once again trying to take control of the world’s busiest passenger airport from the City of Atlanta.
On Wednesday, State Sen. Burt Jones, a Republican representing Jackson, introduced legislation that could create a state agency to control Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
The move is sure to prompt a fight from the City of Atlanta, as well as Delta Air Lines, the airport’s largest tenant.
Jones, who last year chaired a study committee that scrutinized the city’s management of the airport, has said his legislation could pave the way for a possible second commercial airport in the region.
His attempt to pass similar legislation last year faltered, as then-Gov. Nathan Deal, who had a good working relationship with former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, believed that state control of the airport would diminish Georgia’s bond rating, according to another AJC report.
Reps with Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’s office told the publication the ever-busy airport is also the world’s “most efficient,” and that there’s no solid evidence that state oversight would make things any better.
In fact, they equated a state takeover to “theft of the airport” from citizens of Atlanta.
“There has yet to be a single reasonable argument posed to justify any state takeover,” mayor’s office representatives said.