Hearing examines minority contract rules at Hartsfield-Jackson

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060803 HARTSFIELD-JACKSON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - Control interface technician, Robert Lee heads for the overhead catwalk at new in-line baggage screening facility downstairs in the terminal building at the airport which was announced Thursday. The Transportation Security Administration unveiled its in-line baggage screening system at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport Thursday. The new system will feature baggage being sent downstairs from the ticketing area directly into the new system making the large and bulky machines in place upstairs to be removed allowing for more floor space. (JOHN SPINK/AJC staff)

Airport contracting at Hartsfield-Jackson International is again generating controversy, this time through a challenge filed by a contractor that claims it was unfairly disqualified for not fulfilling minority contracting requirements.

Vanderlande Industries is appealing the city’s decision on a nearly $40 million contract to design and build baggage system conveyors and install new explosives detection machines to screen checked bags in the bowels of the world’s busiest airport.

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The dispute prompted a hearing before a contract compliance hearing officer, with Vanderlande and the city each presenting arguments.

Vanderlande, based in the Netherlands, submitted the low bid of $38.3 million but fell far short of the city’s goal for minority partners. The city instead selected Jervis B. Webb Co., part of Japanese baggage handling giant Daifuku Co, which bid about $39.9 million.

The dispute highlights the complex web of minority contracting requirements for airport work and other government contracts, and how the rules can affect the cost of government contracts and who gets the work.

More on MyAJC.com: Atlanta airport’s minority contract rules spur dispute


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