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Georgia Senate Passes Measure Advocating State Takeover of ATL

The Georgia Senate passed a measure that would give the state control over Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL), despite opposition from city officials who note the move would endangers the airport’s role as an economic engine for the region.

The bill, Senate Bill 131 – sponsored by Republican State Senator Ben Jones – passed by a 34-22 vote and now goes on to the Georgia State House for consideration. The bill also needs the approval of new Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, who told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he’s still studying the measure.

ATL has come under local, state and federal scrutiny for after reports of bribery involving an Atlanta city official and misuse of airport revenue. But airport and city officials have said that any state takeover attempt is likely to trigger a flurry of litigation, including moves by the Federal Aviation Authority to block any hostile takeover attempt, the newspaper reported.

Delta Air Lines, one of the airport major carriers, is also opposed to the move.