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Sdmccray1984
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Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:41 am

Nearly all metropolitan areas in the U.S. that are the size of metro Atlanta have at least 2 commercial airports. Heck, several cities smaller than Atlanta have two(we in Charlotte have CLT and JQF, a base for Allegiant Air). I’d assert that Atlanta having only one commercial airport is the ONLY reason why Hartsfield-Jackson is the world’s busiest. What do you guys think?
 
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enilria
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:43 am

One word answer: Delta
 
FWAERJ
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:45 am

enilria wrote:
One word answer: Delta


Add this word to the mix: Southwest. They also oppose a second Atlanta airport.

Governor Kemp, on the other hand... (and he isn’t on good terms with Delta, either)
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eurotrader85
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:53 am

Why would you need a second airport if the one you have, which has five runways and good terminal space, is working well for the city. Its not like Atlanta is suddenly going to explode as a new O&D destination with oodles more traffic needed. Its primarily Delta connecting traffic.
 
adtall
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:03 am

Governor Kemp isn't dumb with his political geography, any site for a second airport is politically suicidal as those are now swing counties on the north side of Atlanta where a second airport would be. Everyone is mildly approving (but the issue won't change their vote) unless the airport site is near them, then there is intense political opposition supported by Delta, Southwest, and the city of Atlanta which would lose votes in swing districts. Ain't gonna happen.
 
wv399
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:25 am

Atlanta has no need for a second airport. Unlike most cities, ATL is very close to the central business district. In current conditions, it’s a 15 minute drive. It is also easily accessible by transit, and has a station at the airport. New capacity is being added with the 5 additional gates on Concourse T. There’s room for future expansion, as Concourses G and H were recently cancelled, plus there’s space for a sixth runway. If a 2nd airport were to be built, only Allegiant would use it, and It would be nearly 40 miles from the city.
 
pnutt
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:28 am

Funny juxtaposition "Right now in the forum":
  • Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?
  • Delta plans to emerge a "smaller" carrier
 
WidebodyPTV
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:13 am

enilria wrote:
One word answer: Delta


Wrong, it was Eastern that spearheaded the redevelopment of ATL within the existing airport's footprint. Nonetheless, it's totally silly to blame the situation on Delta. Domestically, most communities have duel airports because a) they built a new airport but retained the legacy one (MDW, DAL, etc.); b) their secondary airport formerly belonged to the military; or c) their secondary airport(s) are community airports. ATL's location lead it to be a duel hub operation even before most modern hubs were even built. This means the market's always been over served, with attractive fares. This negated the need for community airports.
 
Chasensfo
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:32 am

As others have said, ATL is close to downtown, is large enough to easily accommodate all traffic, and has room to expand if needed.

When you look at other metro areas like SFO/OAK/SJC, JFK/LGA/EWR/ISP, ORD/MDW/RFD, ect, there are different circumstances that lead to the growth of those airports commercially:

Pre-existing airfields: Since the 30s, 40s, and 50s, most of the above-listed airports had air service which grew overtime, the ATL area airports stuck with general aviation more or less(unless you count Macon I guess).

Geography/travel time: The above listed airports are either isolated from each other geographically (San Francisco Bay, other bodies of water, bridges, ect) or separated by massive urban sprawl (Chicago). As others have said, you can get to Atlanta from ATL in 15 minutes with no traffic, and with traffic it is still very close as far as major hub airports go. The time to get from SFO to SJC can be 2 hours in traffic in the morning, afternoon, and evening and there is no convenient public transport between them(take BART from SFO to Millbrae, often with a stop in San Bruno and at a fare surcharge for the short ride, transfer to Caltrain, wait, take a train to Santa Clara, wait for a bus...not quick and easy, and not cheap). ORD/MDW have decent public transport links, but LGA/EWR from JFK are also a bit of an adventure. So people tend to choose the closest airport, and airlines can fill planes from MDW-MSP and ORD-MSP for example. ATL is just too centralized and works out well for most people, a new airport is unlikely to attract enough of a crowd to bring more than Allegiant and another ULCC or 2 best case scenario. Perhaps Peach Tree or some other airport can be expanded with a small pax terminal with TSA if they really wanted to attract ULCCs to another Atlanta area airport, so building a new airport doesn't make sense for that.

Now, what usually sparks the construction of a new airport like RKSI, RJGG, KAUS, KDEN, ZSPD, VHHH ect? The old airport fills to capacity and/or urban sprawl creates safety concerns. Well, ATL is in a unique situation where no matter how massive it seems to get, there always seems to be room for more. So, why build a new airport?

I highly, highly doubt that in the next 50 years we'll see a second commercial airport in the Atlanta metro unless one of the GA airports expands to offer ULCC services.
 
KFTG
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:50 am

I'm old enough to remember Skybus and their advertising of Chattanooga as "Atlanta".
 
CitrusCritter
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:51 am

wv399 wrote:
Atlanta has no need for a second airport. Unlike most cities, ATL is very close to the central business district. In current conditions, it’s a 15 minute drive. It is also easily accessible by transit, and has a station at the airport. New capacity is being added with the 5 additional gates on Concourse T. There’s room for future expansion, as Concourses G and H were recently cancelled, plus there’s space for a sixth runway. If a 2nd airport were to be built, only Allegiant would use it, and It would be nearly 40 miles from the city.


I kept wondering whether Skybus would use Macon, Columbus, or Athens. Of course, now that I say that, I seem to vaguely recall them having a plan to pitch Chattanooga as Atlanta.
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KFTG
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:54 am

Skybus indeed did fly to CHA and marketed it as Atlanta.
 
CaptainObvious1
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:57 am

KFTG wrote:
Skybus indeed did fly to CHA and marketed it as Atlanta.


Part of the trip by Sky and the other half by Bus (or other ground transportation) :wave:
 
txkf2010
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:21 am

Isn’t Delta the largest employer in the state? That probably has something to do with it politically I’d assume.
 
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SierraPacific
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:30 am

Atlanta doesn't really have a great location for a second airport even if Delta or Southwest wanted it. LZU and PDK are too small for runways and infrastructure wise and the Paulding airport is way too far from the Affluent northside suburbs to make a suitable alternate.

Outside of building a completely new greenfield airport in Cumming, ATL is the only option for commercial ops in metro Atlanta for the future.
 
n2dru
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:32 am

txkf2010 wrote:
Isn’t Delta the largest employer in the state? That probably has something to do with it politically I’d assume.


No Delta isn't the largest employer in the state. Atlanta and Georgia are a lot more than just Delta!
Last edited by n2dru on Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
32andBelow
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:33 am

Don’t all the wealthy people live out of the city though? That’s why the braves moved.
 
Antarius
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:36 am

I wouldn't classify JQF as a second airport for Charlotte. Allegiant flies to like 5 destinations.
2020: SFO DFW IAH HOU CLT MEX BIS MIA GUA ORD DTW LGA BOS LHR DUB BFS BHD STN OAK PHL ISP JFK SJC DEN SJU LAS TXL GDL
 
n2dru
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:41 am

32andBelow wrote:
Don’t all the wealthy people live out of the city though? That’s why the braves moved.


That's not why the Braves moved. They wanted upgrades to the old stadium the city wasn't willing to pay for. There is plenty of wealth within the city.
 
Antarius
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:43 am

n2dru wrote:
txkf2010 wrote:
Isn’t Delta the largest employer in the state? That probably has something to do with it politically I’d assume.


No Delta isn't the largest employer in the state. Atlanta and Georgia are a lot more than just Delta!


Who is it then?

Home Depot is the largest company, but the majority of their workforce is not in Georgia.
2020: SFO DFW IAH HOU CLT MEX BIS MIA GUA ORD DTW LGA BOS LHR DUB BFS BHD STN OAK PHL ISP JFK SJC DEN SJU LAS TXL GDL
 
n2dru
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:48 am

Antarius wrote:
n2dru wrote:
txkf2010 wrote:
Isn’t Delta the largest employer in the state? That probably has something to do with it politically I’d assume.


No Delta isn't the largest employer in the state. Atlanta and Georgia are a lot more than just Delta!


Who is it then?

Home Depot is the largest company, but the majority of their workforce is not in Georgia.


Coca Cola, Aflac, UPS and The Home Depot employ more ppl in the state. Delta comes in fifth.
Last edited by n2dru on Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
jetblueguy22
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:49 am

KFTG wrote:
I'm old enough to remember Skybus and their advertising of Chattanooga as "Atlanta".

You make it sound like Skybus operated 30 years ago
Look at sweatpants guy. This is a 90 million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club
 
Antarius
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:58 am

n2dru wrote:
Antarius wrote:
n2dru wrote:

No Delta isn't the largest employer in the state. Atlanta and Georgia are a lot more than just Delta!


Who is it then?

Home Depot is the largest company, but the majority of their workforce is not in Georgia.


Coca Cola, Aflac, UPS and The Home Depot employ more ppl in the state. Delta comes in fifth.


Source?
2020: SFO DFW IAH HOU CLT MEX BIS MIA GUA ORD DTW LGA BOS LHR DUB BFS BHD STN OAK PHL ISP JFK SJC DEN SJU LAS TXL GDL
 
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usdcaguy
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:00 am

KFTG wrote:
Skybus indeed did fly to CHA and marketed it as Atlanta.


That's trippy. How could you tell people that an airport pertains to a given city that is not even in the same state and over an hour and a half away without traffic? Imagine arriving in Chattanooga expecting to take a Lyft into Midtown Atlanta.

I think if there were a second "Atlanta" airport to be had, it would be the result of building a passenger terminal at Dobbs ARB. The Air Force would need to leave, but I think it would catch a lot of business from the suburbs. It can take an extremely long time to get down to ATL in rush hour traffic, so I would think any secondary airport up north would be attractive if such a thing were feasible, but currently it is not.
 
gaystudpilot
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:08 am

wv399 wrote:
Atlanta has no need for a second airport. Unlike most cities, ATL is very close to the central business district. In current conditions, it’s a 15 minute drive. It is also easily accessible by transit, and has a station at the airport. New capacity is being added with the 5 additional gates on Concourse T. There’s room for future expansion, as Concourses G and H were recently cancelled, plus there’s space for a sixth runway. If a 2nd airport were to be built, only Allegiant would use it, and It would be nearly 40 miles from the city.


I imagine the number of people who work/live in Atlanta’s CBD pales in comparison to the millions who work in the sprawling suburbs’ office buildings.

There are corporate and political interests against a second airport. There’s also a geographical question: where should it be built. The far northern suburbs is a popular response. It’s an interesting question. ATL2 would be “way out there” — whichever direction— like IAD and DEN were when built.
 
Jerseyguy
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:17 am

enilria wrote:
One word answer: Delta

Yeah Delta may have even paid the lawyers fees for a small group of NIMBYs in Paulding. Theres no solid proof but miraculously they got a call from a lawyer Delta uses frequently saying someone wants to pay my fees for you. Delta wanted competition in Dallas (Texas) but not Dallas (Georgia).

Breeze wants to use secondary airports, It would be interesting to see what airport they would use for Atlanta, they will probably avoid Atlanta for awhile while focusing on other areas.
 
HunterATL
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:52 am

This issue comes up a lot on this forum. I am going to attempt to address the myriad of reasons why no secondary airport has been built or will be built for the foreseeable future.

It's important to understand that not a single secondary airport has been built since deregulation. This is due, in large part, to a change in federal law in the 80s which barred airport owners/sponsors from using airports as revenue generators for other government purposes. If all the revenue an airport earns through landing fees, rents, etc. has to be used only for airport purposes, much of the political will for a second airport is lost because it will not be a revenue center. It's one thing to convince your voters to support a second airport because it will generate tax dollars which can be spent on new schools or roads, but it's completely different situation when the revenues can't be used to improve the lives of voters.

Moreover, never has a second airport been built that would be smaller than the existing facility. DFW, ORD, IAH, etc. were all built out of necessity because the original airfields were simply too small and could not accommodate modern aircraft and larger passenger loads. It's very difficult to convince voters to support an expensive new airport that is not necessary to meet their air travel needs.

With that being said, it is important to understand Georgia law, the nature of counties and cities in the state, and political geography.

Georgia cities and counties are incredibly small. No city in the metro Atlanta area has enough undeveloped land within its borders for a commercially viable airport. That means that any airport built, for example, in the city limits of Marietta would have to use partially or fully developed property. That puts an immediate end to any discussion because no government wants to purchase developed land from its voters from which it is deriving property taxes, sales taxes, and business license fees merely to replace it with a new government development from which the government cannot generate revenue. What sane government wants to spend several billion dollars to tear down tax generating property to replace it something that generates virtually no tax dollars? And what elected official wants to support such a plan knowing that hundreds or more voters would be forced to sell their land? Voters vote. Now, a city might rationalize the construction on the basis that it will lead to increased economic activity and thus greater tax revenues from the surrounding land, but that is not likely to be correct in light of the huge amount of land necessary to build an new airport and the huge amount of existing economic activity and property taxes that would be displaced.

A city could, however, decide to build the airport on land it acquires in another jurisdiction; namely another city or unincorporated portions of a county. The other jurisdiction would fight any such attempt to the fullest extent permitted. The sponsoring city would be buying land that generates tax revenue for a different government. When that land becomes purchased by the sponsoring city, that land ceases to be taxed. Georgia law does not permit a jurisdiction to tax land owned by a different government entity within the taxing authority's borders if the the land is partially developed and used for a public purpose. Airport land meets this tax exempt requirement. So if the city of Alpharetta, for example, decided to build an airport in unincorporated Cherokee County, the county would lose all property tax revenue from that land. That is not likely to go over well, and the county is likely to stop the construction of the airport through the myriad of legal options available to it, i.e., zoning changes, refusal to issue building permits, refusal to connect the airport to the water/sewer system, refusal to build roads and maintain roads to the airport, etc. Every county in Georgia knows full well how the portion of Hartsfield-Jackson in Clayton County has affected the county's tax revenues. No other county wants that in its backyard.

But even if a city were hell-bent on building a secondary airport in the Atlanta region, it would have to come up with billions of dollars in financing. No city in the metro area has the ability to fund such construction from its general tax revenues. The cities are simply geographically too small and do not have anywhere near the economic activity necessary or tax base to fund such an undertaking. Moreover, even if the city believed it possible to use general tax revenues, that would mean billions of dollars not spent on other services for the population or an increase in property taxes on voters. What sane city council member would support such a plan? Simply put, none would like embrace it.

The only truly viable alternative is financing the construction through bonds. That too has significant problems. First, the bond offering would be huge. Even with the bonds being backed by landing fees and other airport revenues, bond issuers/insurers would set the interest rates fairly high because there would be no track record of historical fees to support repayment. Second, since the city would be an obligor on the bonds, the city would be taking a huge risk. If the airport could not repay the bonds from airport fees, the city's coffers would quickly be depleted to repay the bonds. Third, cities have limited bonding capacity. If a city is an obligor on billions of dollars of airport bonds, the city has significantly less capacity to issue bonds for other government purposes including schools, roads, sewers, etc.

Now a county, like the cities discussed already, could decide to build an airport within its own borders or in land in another county, but the exact same analysis would apply. No county wants to displace its own tax-generating landowners, who vote, with a very expensive structure which generates no direct taxes for the county. And no county is going to sit idly by as another county builds an airport in its jurisdiction. And no sponsoring county wants to raise taxes on its own voters to finance the construction or to be an obligor on such a huge bond offering.

Only two governments in Georgia have the tax base to support the construction of a second airport: the City of Atlanta and the state. The city has made clear that it has no desire to build a second airport on the various tracts of land it owns throughout the metro area until Hartsfield-Jackson is at full capacity. And even if Atlanta were inclined to build a second airport, Atlanta would face the same financing issues that any other city or county would. Atlanta certainly doesn't want to finance the construction from its own general revenues, and bonds would be extremely expensive in light of the unknown nature of the success of any second airport.

The state, in turn, has no desire to own and sponsor a second airport mostly for political purposes. Georgia's state government is fully Republican. Any secondary airport would be built in land located in the counties and cities north or northeast of Atlanta. Those jurisdictions are still fairly Republican. No Republican member of the General Assembly wants to explain to his angry constituents why the state is forcing them to sell their property to build an unpopular airport. The governor does not want to explain to the Cherokee County commission, for example, why the state is buying land that the county can no longer tax in order to build an airport that the county's voters do not want. That county would have to increase property taxes to make up for the last revenues, and the county commission would make sure voters understood this was the governor's fault.

But even more importantly, every elected official in the metro area is keenly aware of what happened to the members of the Paulding County commission after they approved the conversion of an existing airfield into a commercial airport a few years ago. Every member of the commission except one lost reelection in the next cycle, and the county has been forced to spend millions of dollars on multiple lawsuits relating to the airfield and the county's decision to rescind approval. No elected official is going to touch this topic until the political climate changes.

Finally, any new airport would have to attract airlines and passengers. Hartsfield-Jackson in any given year has the lowest or second lowest airline costs in the nation. No airline is clamoring for a new airfield because every airline understands that there is no possible situation in which the airline's costs would decrease by using the new facility. The costs of building a new airport are huge, and fees would have to be commensurate. Using a new, more expensive airport only makes rational sense if an airline believes it could charge higher fares or attract significantly more passengers. In light of how full planes were before covid, airlines did not believe a move would result in increased traffic because there were no available seats anyway. In a post-covid world, no airline is going to agree to move and use a higher cost facility. With respect to fares, airlines would understand that any new airport would be significantly further from the business centers of downtown, Midtown, and Buckhead and that the new airport would not be connected to Marta. Business travelers, who are generally less fare elastic, would likely not be willing to pay higher fares to arrive and depart from an airport further away from their ultimate destination with fewer ground transportation options. And traffic from the city to the northern and northeastern suburbs is horrible. No business traveler located in Midtown would want to travel further with greater traffic congestion requiring him to leave work even earlier to catch a flight.

Simply put, until the present facility is at capacity or has significantly higher fees, a second airport does not make political, economic, or business sense. That is the basic reason why no second airport has been built.
 
TYWoolman
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:22 am

A secondary airport makes for inefficiencies to the Delta hub. Secondary airports attract lower cost carriers into the mix which can further fragment routes and dilute revenue. This in turn weakens Delta who is a solid contributor to Atlanta. Atlanta knows better not to stir the pot.
 
KFTG
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:30 am

Paging all Delta bootlickers...
 
JAMBOJET
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:42 am

Delta.
aka: the committee to protect Paulding County.

https://www.ajc.com/business/delta-push ... 8xAIu7a7O/

Makes sense why you’d put it up north. I’m not sure I’ve ever been to Atlanta at any time of day where the traffic going through midtown/downtown didn’t slow to an absolute crawl. Atlanta just has horrible traffic if you live up north and need to get to atl.
But, as others have mentioned, it’s obvious why delta wouldn’t want another airport in Atlanta drawing traffic away. Same reason the Wright Amendment ever existed and why United made such a huge deal about cancelling IAH flights (think it was AKL they pulled) when HOU was allowed to fly internationally
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:56 am

TYWoolman wrote:
A secondary airport makes for inefficiencies to the Delta hub. Secondary airports attract lower cost carriers into the mix which can further fragment routes and dilute revenue. This in turn weakens Delta who is a solid contributor to Atlanta. Atlanta knows better not to stir the pot.


You're making this about Delta. Secondary airports dilute traffic volumes which decrease scale efficiencies of the hub, one of which is number of destinations viable to be served. (That's a characteristic directly useful to travelers - more non-stop destinations; it also builds more hub scale allowing bigger jets for CASM efficiencies.) Look at the number of destinations served (as of 2/2020, anyway) non-stop from ATL vs. UA at EWR, or JFK/LGA/EWR combined in a much larger metro, or by UA at ORD (Look at CLT while you're at it, for another airport with a destination count way oversize to its metro population.) For destination count and frequency, as long as people of the region can get to the airport, a single big airport is better than multiple smaller ones.

ATL keeps adding gates - it's not like it's been the same size since 1985. If LCC carriers want gates they can get them.
 
Murdoughnut
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:59 am

As others have mentioned, ATL is hardly convenient to where most of its local O&D pax live. I'm quite surprised nobody has tried to launch PDK service in some form, though I imagine there are governmental regulations in place to prevent that.
 
JAMBOJET
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:42 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
A secondary airport makes for inefficiencies to the Delta hub. Secondary airports attract lower cost carriers into the mix which can further fragment routes and dilute revenue. This in turn weakens Delta who is a solid contributor to Atlanta. Atlanta knows better not to stir the pot.


You're making this about Delta. Secondary airports dilute traffic volumes which decrease scale efficiencies of the hub, one of which is number of destinations viable to be served. (That's a characteristic directly useful to travelers - more non-stop destinations; it also builds more hub scale allowing bigger jets for CASM efficiencies.) Look at the number of destinations served (as of 2/2020, anyway) non-stop from ATL vs. UA at EWR, or JFK/LGA/EWR combined in a much larger metro, or by UA at ORD (Look at CLT while you're at it, for another airport with a destination count way oversize to its metro population.) For destination count and frequency, as long as people of the region can get to the airport, a single big airport is better than multiple smaller ones.

ATL keeps adding gates - it's not like it's been the same size since 1985. If LCC carriers want gates they can get them.

It is about delta.
For comparable sized cities: ATL has much more volume but not really any outsized amount of destinations vs iah (despite hou though iah is probably the poorest of the three examples since it isn’t as strong domestically), Dfw (despite dal), or Ord (despite mdw). It’s just that delta has the most Market share in ATL (read gates in ATL since that’s what it really means; and btw. Let’s not pretend like any significant share of those new gates will go to a ULCC) relative to the other cities’ aviation market and a new airport would dilute that share since it would be difficult for delta to serve both airports like aa/ua at mdw, ua at hou, or aa at dal.
Having that control on the Limited number of gates in a economic region the size of Atlanta gives delta an enormous pricing power for any business or person that wants to fly nonstop out of ATL. Without that higher priced seat to sell to the many local fliers in Atlanta, delta is Just competing on price for many of the flow passengers against clt and other nearby hubs (obviously ATL has some unique connections only it can do well).
 
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enilria
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:54 pm

WidebodyPTV wrote:
enilria wrote:
One word answer: Delta


Wrong, it was Eastern that spearheaded the redevelopment of ATL within the existing airport's footprint. Nonetheless, it's totally silly to blame the situation on Delta. Domestically, most communities have duel airports because a) they built a new airport but retained the legacy one (MDW, DAL, etc.); b) their secondary airport formerly belonged to the military; or c) their secondary airport(s) are community airports. ATL's location lead it to be a duel hub operation even before most modern hubs were even built. This means the market's always been over served, with attractive fares. This negated the need for community airports.

FWAERJ wrote:
enilria wrote:
One word answer: Delta


Add this word to the mix: Southwest. They also oppose a second Atlanta airport.

Governor Kemp, on the other hand... (and he isn’t on good terms with Delta, either)

At different times other carriers have also felt the same way, but Delta is the clear winner in terms of having done the most to make it not happen over a continuous period of time. They have fought every other proposed airport in Atlanta tooth and nail, both publicly and through financial donations to politicians and activist groups. It's all about protecting vested interest. ATL is/was very heavily gate constrained which is exactly what the dominant carrier wants at an airport. It's the equivalent of flying a smaller plane and bumping out the people paying less through revenue management. It's the same strategy. It only works when you can be reasonably sure another carrier won't replace the seats. Constraint leads to higher profit margins. This is exactly what Delta is supposed/allowed to do. I don't like it, but I would likely do the same if I ran Delta. That doesn't mean the public should be happy with this, or allow it. Another airport in Atlanta would lead to more competition and lower fares. The public should push for it because the politicians won't touch it. They are too busy determining whether Delta should be bothered with paying fuel taxes.
 
DFW17L
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:02 pm

Why? Because of the mosh pits they call terminals are so much fun to navigate between banks. :eek:
 
2travel2know2
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:28 pm

Huge challenge trying to find land to built a St Louis BLV size airport terminal (with good road access) in PDK Dekalb or MGE Marietta.
Not to talk about all the red-tape and private financing required for that endeavour.
I'm not on CM's payroll.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:35 pm

HunterATL wrote:
Finally, any new airport would have to attract airlines and passengers. Hartsfield-Jackson in any given year has the lowest or second lowest airline costs in the nation. No airline is clamoring for a new airfield because every airline understands that there is no possible situation in which the airline's costs would decrease by using the new facility. The costs of building a new airport are huge, and fees would have to be commensurate. Using a new, more expensive airport only makes rational sense if an airline believes it could charge higher fares or attract significantly more passengers.

This is the main reason, competing against a heavy connecting airport with a high fee airport is non-viable. Most big airports are not efficiently run and a business case for a 2nd airport can be viable, not versus ATL

As pretty much everyone has noted, ATL is not maxed out. There are plans for one more runway and more gates.

Since a high fraction of ATL traffic is connecting, there are only a few destinations viable from airport #2 and both WN and DL would match fares that when combined with higher fees would bankrupt the new airport.

Lightsaber
Winter is coming.
 
blockski
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:36 pm

HunterATL wrote:
Moreover, never has a second airport been built that would be smaller than the existing facility. DFW, ORD, IAH, etc. were all built out of necessity because the original airfields were simply too small and could not accommodate modern aircraft and larger passenger loads. It's very difficult to convince voters to support an expensive new airport that is not necessary to meet their air travel needs.


Yep - this is the critical reason, regardless of any local political conditions.

All of the cities with multiple airports have them as the result of legacy airfields (in many cases, dating back to the dawn of commercial aviation) and larger, expanded facilities (sometimes on the same sites, sometimes on new sites) for the jet age and beyond.

DAL was insufficient, so they built DFW. HOU was too small, so they built IAH. same with DCA and IAD, MDW and ORD, and a whole host of others.

Some airports completely closed - BWI replaced BAL (which is now a container port). The most recent American is example is DEN replacing Stapleton.

The only examples of small airports emerging are for adding terminals and commercial service to existing airfields, and usually the impact is so small as to be insignificant.
 
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enilria
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:48 pm

lightsaber wrote:
HunterATL wrote:
Finally, any new airport would have to attract airlines and passengers. Hartsfield-Jackson in any given year has the lowest or second lowest airline costs in the nation. No airline is clamoring for a new airfield because every airline understands that there is no possible situation in which the airline's costs would decrease by using the new facility. The costs of building a new airport are huge, and fees would have to be commensurate. Using a new, more expensive airport only makes rational sense if an airline believes it could charge higher fares or attract significantly more passengers.

This is the main reason, competing against a heavy connecting airport with a high fee airport is non-viable. Most big airports are not efficiently run and a business case for a 2nd airport can be viable, not versus ATL

As pretty much everyone has noted, ATL is not maxed out. There are plans for one more runway and more gates.

Since a high fraction of ATL traffic is connecting, there are only a few destinations viable from airport #2 and both WN and DL would match fares that when combined with higher fees would bankrupt the new airport.

Lightsaber

ATL is not particularly high fee, that is a factor. ATL is not efficiently run, it just has huge economies of scale...or it did depending upon what happens.

ATL is maxed out. Sure there is perhaps some more land, but Delta is going to either drag their feet on new gates or attempt to grab all of them so competition is not encouraged as they have done so far. Also, the airport is so massive now that a smaller airport would have a huge convenience advantage.

Depending on the geography of a second airport I think there are probably 12-15 destinations that could work daily. If you adopted the F9 style of running 2-3 per week it is a much longer list.

Charlie Brown, Peachtree, and Dobbins AFB are all viable in terms of geography. Some would need more land to be viable, though.
 
AirMatt
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:49 pm

Having lived on the North side of Atlanta for 8 years, until 2017...I always wished there was a 2nd airport option. Getting to ATL in the morning was always a lengthy commute. (GA400 is a mess).

I always thought regional jet flights from AA & UA hubs would work at PDK, or even LZU - Although I think Gwinnett County voted down any commercial activity there.

Sadly I'm in minority when it comes to airports....as I love commercial aviation.
 
JAMBOJET
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:05 pm

lightsaber wrote:
HunterATL wrote:
Finally, any new airport would have to attract airlines and passengers. Hartsfield-Jackson in any given year has the lowest or second lowest airline costs in the nation. No airline is clamoring for a new airfield because every airline understands that there is no possible situation in which the airline's costs would decrease by using the new facility. The costs of building a new airport are huge, and fees would have to be commensurate. Using a new, more expensive airport only makes rational sense if an airline believes it could charge higher fares or attract significantly more passengers.

This is the main reason, competing against a heavy connecting airport with a high fee airport is non-viable. Most big airports are not efficiently run and a business case for a 2nd airport can be viable, not versus ATL

As pretty much everyone has noted, ATL is not maxed out. There are plans for one more runway and more gates.

Since a high fraction of ATL traffic is connecting, there are only a few destinations viable from airport #2 and both WN and DL would match fares that when combined with higher fees would bankrupt the new airport.

Lightsaber

The generally accepted rationale for a new Atlanta airport is geographic proximity for a large and significantly growing part of the Atlanta metro area. The city is generally expanding to the north, not toward ATL. There are PLENTY of examples of local airports doing very well against larger nearby airports due to a geographic advantage: SNA, dca, lga, dal, Bur, oak, SJC, etc.
It seems disingenuous to suggest Atlanta airport has plenty of gates and very welcoming to new entrants that want to expand.
There’s nothing wrong with Delta, as a for-profit company, wanting more gates and limiting supply to new entrants to ensure profitability, but there are a number of recent examples of Delta And/or the city trying to prevent expansion or hurt new entrants at ATL.

https://www.ajc.com/business/jetblue-ex ... ZKsHCgsHO/

https://onemileatatime.com/delta-spying-qatar-airways/

https://skift.com/2016/06/05/qatar-ceo- ... ta-flight/

https://www.ajc.com/blog/airport/delta- ... sxi1DNnyN/


Happy to be proven wrong, but I don’t think you’ll find recent stories like this about any other airport/airline in the US.
 
TWFlyGuy
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:14 pm

In 2004-2005 there was some talk of experimenting with 3-5 PDK-LGA flights at DL. It never got off the ground obviously but with a sizable FF base up north, the thinking was it would be profitable so was worth considering. Never really got past talk and some analysis.
 
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Polot
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:18 pm

AirMatt wrote:
Having lived on the North side of Atlanta for 8 years, until 2017...I always wished there was a 2nd airport option. Getting to ATL in the morning was always a lengthy commute. (GA400 is a mess).

I always thought regional jet flights from AA & UA hubs would work at PDK, or even LZU - Although I think Gwinnett County voted down any commercial activity there.

Sadly I'm in minority when it comes to airports....as I love commercial aviation.

I don’t believe scheduled commercial flights are allowed at PDK, just scheduled public charters at best. You also need prior permission to take off with any aircraft with a > 75k lb max certified MTOW, which would limit your scheduled flights to basically ATR/Q400/CRJ200/ERJ145s anyways.
 
wnflyguy
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:20 pm

FWAERJ wrote:
enilria wrote:
One word answer: Delta


Add this word to the mix: Southwest. They also oppose a second Atlanta airport.

Governor Kemp, on the other hand... (and he isn’t on good terms with Delta, either)


Some Southwest History.
Back in 1993 WN reached a letter of agreement with FTY Brown field to build a 4 gate terminal to start service in 1994. But the DELTA airlines political powers in Georgia successfully stopped and squashed all plans. WN later in the 90's also held talks with Macon Georgia about building an operation. They had success in MHT being rebranded as Manchester/Boston airport and had hopes of rebranding Macon as Macon/Atlanta airport but again political leaders back by DELTA succeeded in killing all plans to allow Macon being called Macon/Atlanta.


Finally WN settled with GSP as it's 2nd unofficial back door to Atlanta in the same respects how BHM always has been viewed.
During the time WN chose GSP it was having negotiations to Buy AirTran.
During this time WN chose to keep GSP going forward as planned Incase the
AirTran BOD voted against the purchase.

It's safe to say if WN would have been successful buying FL faster GSP probably wouldn't been on WN network.

Flyguy
Last edited by wnflyguy on Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My Wings are clipped just another Retired Airline person. The Ultimate Armchair out of the loop airline industry geek. Aloha Mr Hand!
 
ytib
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:23 pm

A second airport would be small and most likely would end up like PAE in Seattle. Limited number of flights operated mainly by the incumbent carrier in the region.
318, 319, 320, 321, 332, 333, 388, 707, 717, 722, 732, 733, 734, 73Q, 735, 73G, 738, 7M8, 739, 752, 753, 742, 74L, 744, 762, 763, 772, 77L, 77W, 789, 142, CN1, CR2, CR7, DC8, DH2, DH8, D8Q, D10, D95, EM2, ER3, ER4, E70, 100, J31, M11, M83, M88, M90, SF3
 
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AVLAirlineFreq
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:27 pm

It's been proposed numerous times--at Charlie Brown (where WN wanted to locate years ago before they entered the market via ATL), Paulding County, Gwinnett County, PDK, Forsyth County, Dobbins AFB. All have been squashed for a variety of reasons.
Last edited by AVLAirlineFreq on Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
adtall
Posts: 77
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:29 pm

JAMBOJET wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
HunterATL wrote:
Finally, any new airport would have to attract airlines and passengers. Hartsfield-Jackson in any given year has the lowest or second lowest airline costs in the nation. No airline is clamoring for a new airfield because every airline understands that there is no possible situation in which the airline's costs would decrease by using the new facility. The costs of building a new airport are huge, and fees would have to be commensurate. Using a new, more expensive airport only makes rational sense if an airline believes it could charge higher fares or attract significantly more passengers.

This is the main reason, competing against a heavy connecting airport with a high fee airport is non-viable. Most big airports are not efficiently run and a business case for a 2nd airport can be viable, not versus ATL

As pretty much everyone has noted, ATL is not maxed out. There are plans for one more runway and more gates.

Since a high fraction of ATL traffic is connecting, there are only a few destinations viable from airport #2 and both WN and DL would match fares that when combined with higher fees would bankrupt the new airport.

Lightsaber

The generally accepted rationale for a new Atlanta airport is geographic proximity for a large and significantly growing part of the Atlanta metro area. The city is generally expanding to the north, not toward ATL. There are PLENTY of examples of local airports doing very well against larger nearby airports due to a geographic advantage: SNA, dca, lga, dal, Bur, oak, SJC, etc.
It seems disingenuous to suggest Atlanta airport has plenty of gates and very welcoming to new entrants that want to expand.


But those airports are supported by their local politicians and citizens, plus most of them were built a long time ago. You've accurately stated the 30,000 foot case for a second airport, but none of that takes into account the ground level issues, from financial to political and popular that HunterATL laid out so well, and ground level wins every time. Nobody who lives around any of the current airports is promoting commercial service. I'd also point out another issue, and that is terrain. The further north you go, the hillier the terrain becomes, and the more expensive the work to make the terrain feasible for a new site. The combination is hard to overcome.
 
kiowa
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:39 pm

So the answers are politics are Delta doesn’t want it. I try to avoid going through Atlanta but the point is probably mute now with the economy the way it is for the foreseeable future.
 
Trippe747
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:42 pm

It's also interesting to note that the city has purchased a large tracts of land in neighboring counties over the last 40 years to prevent the creation of a secondary airport. I live in Gwinnett County, a northeastern suburban county of Atlanta, which has Gwinnett Country Airport (LZU) or Briscoe Field in Lawrenceville. About ten years ago the county board suppressed a movement to enable smaller regional airliners to feed their networks as Delta and AirTran were squeezing out the competition of the day at Hartsfield. As a FF (UA Gold at the time, now DL Gold), I would have definitely hopped on a CRJ to IAD or EWR.
"This is the most important aviation development since Lindbergh's flight. In one fell swoop, we have shrunken the earth." - Juan Trippe
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:46 pm

Can’t imagine using PDK. It’s tight enough in a Global and no room for expansion. A Global will outperform any RJ and it takes a 15,000# weight penalty on a 30C day, which is a cool day in summer ATL.

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