Atlanta sues Paulding over plans for second commercial airport

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June 25, 2014 - Paulding County - Planes are parked on the tarmac are in an area that is planned for jet operations. New hangers are under construction. The expanded taxiway is visible behind them. The terminal is at left. Taxi way expansion has been completed, and construction continues in FBO area of Paulding County Airport. First, Delta CEO Richard Anderson said he would fight Paulding County's effort to commercialize its airport. Then residents filed four legal challenges. Now, the city of Atlanta is threatening legal action, saying Paulding, which purchased land from Atlanta for the airport back in 2007, is in breach of contract on that deal. Paulding officials deny that and say Atlanta's opposition flies in the face of the regionalism that Mayor Kasim Reed spoke about to leaders there a few years ago. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

While many other major cities have two commercial airports, Atlanta has just one — and Atlanta officials want to keep it that way.

Ten years ago, a small general aviation airport was being planned in Paulding County and the city of Atlanta agreed to sell a plot of land it owned in the area for the development of that small Paulding airfield. But the city did not expect it was contributing to a future airport that would eventually seek to attract commercial airline flights.

That’s exactly what Paulding airport officials have been trying to do for the last four years, though they have faced opposition from Delta Air Lines and from local residents.

Now, the city of Atlanta is suing Paulding County and the Paulding airport authority, alleging that Paulding officials broke a promise that their airport would not go commercial and compete against Hartsfield-Jackson International.

“From the outset of the development of the Paulding Airport, Paulding County promised that the Paulding Airport would be — and would always remain — a general aviation airport that would not be used to provide commercial airline service,” the city of Atlanta contends in its lawsuit.

To read more about the lawsuit filed by the city of Atlanta against the Paulding airport, how that parcel of airport land is causing an uproar in Paulding County and what the Federal Aviation Administration wrote in a scolding letter to Paulding officials, read the full story on MyAJC.com.

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