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CobaltScar
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:47 pm

GA needs a airport to serve north GA. Allegiant would do well somewhere between cumming and alpharetta
 
RUIRCE
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:22 pm

The only place a second airport could even remotely be viable would be if it was near the wealthy northern suburbs (Cumming, Alpharetta, Milton, Cherokee,etc) because the drive to ATL can be very long with traffic and other road delays.
 
SEU
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:30 pm

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.


No they dont, Delta are top?
 
n2dru
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:36 pm

SEU wrote:
n2dru wrote:
Antarius wrote:

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.


No they dont, Delta are top?

Not in the state. Not even the city of Atlanta, it's Emory University.
https://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/dat ... d-whos-who
Last edited by n2dru on Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
ytib
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:39 pm

SEU wrote:
n2dru wrote:
Antarius wrote:

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.


No they dont, Delta are top?


As of Dec 2018 the top employers in Atlanta were...
1. Emory University
2. Delta
3. Gwinnett Schools

https://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/sub ... oyers.html

However the Metro Atlanta Chamber has is flipped...

https://www.metroatlantachamber.com/res ... -employers
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
 
Antarius
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:40 pm

n2dru wrote:
SEU wrote:
n2dru wrote:

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


No they dont, Delta are top?

Not in the state. Not even the city of Atlanta, it's Emory University.


Coca Cola has some 8000 employees in Georgia. 10,000 in the US

https://www.ajc.com/news/local/coronavi ... WNafnmxIM/

I'm not sure your source is accurate.
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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Polot
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:50 pm

CobaltScar wrote:
GA needs a airport to serve north GA. Allegiant would do well somewhere between cumming and alpharetta

Good luck building an airport there. Alpharetta’s money and GOP’s need to keep the increasingly purple northern suburbs red will prevent that from ever happening.
 
rampbro
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:04 pm

@hunterATL I have never seen a question answered so comprehensively on this site. You win airliners.net for today.
 
Antarius
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:19 pm

rampbro wrote:
@hunterATL I have never seen a question answered so comprehensively on this site. You win airliners.net for today.


No kidding. Appreciate the detail and thought that went in.
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
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:54 pm

HunterATL wrote:
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.

This post really is the best laid-out answer as to why not.

Yes its easy for aviation enthusiasts and some people to pro-2nd airport. The potential demand may or may not be there, no one really knows. Then when you take it down to the detail level there are a whole of financial, geographical, economical, and political issues that make it really, really impossible.
 
airplaneboy
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:10 pm

Can’t seem to find anything online. But I vaguely recall Southwest having an interest in serving a secondary Atlanta metro airport years ago. I believe their efforts were complicated by Delta’s political influence.
 
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OzarkD9S
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:16 pm

HunterATL wrote:
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.


Well, BLV's second (commercial runway) was built adjacent to Scott AFB. The terminal was built adjacent to the newer runway. As a co-use facility, I'm not sure if commercial ops are generally confined to the new runway but it could be a gray area in your thesis. If I'm proven wrong, so be it. Ft Worth Alliance airport is another commercial, secondary airport built since deregulation but as yet as no airline service, but indeed serves commercial traffic.
Next up: STL DEN PSP DEN STL
 
FromGSPtoChi
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:57 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!


Largest in Metro ATL I thought it would be Home Depot


https://www.metroatlantachamber.com/res ... -employers
 
chemmy
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:12 am

I live about 30 minutes SE of ATL but when I was having to drive to class up in Kennesaw I'd see billboards advertising Chattanooga airport as an alternative to ATL.
 
Dalmd88
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:54 am

So lets do the round up of the possible locations and the back story

Fulton Co Airport, "Charlie Brown". West side of downtown just outside of I285 along !20, Marta (mass transit) could easily be extended to it. Downsides, it's small and land locked. River, I20, large hill near by. It has some corporate traffic.

Moving clockwise to the north, Dobbins Air Base. Near I285 and I75 intersection. Quite possibly the worst traffic in the entire Metro. Little chance for Marta to be extended. Extremely land locked with most land used for either military or military aircraft factory in the form of Lockheed.

Next up Peachtree-Dekalb (PDK). old military field, heavy corporate use near I85 inside of I285. Not far from Marta line. Once again landlocked by a lot of Nimby residents. It can't have scheduled pax operations. It was mandated by the Nimby residents, not Delta. They are a very vocal crowd that complain about anything that is flying overhead.

That's the inner ring of sites. Now the out lying sites. First a little road history. I285 was constructed in the1960's. With lanes added in the 70's. GDOT was already planning a second loop a little farther out, Roughly in the same corridor of Ga-20. Opposition to road building shrank it to just the area between the northern ends of I75 and I85. By the 2000's it was 'canceled', but Improvments to Ga20 look very similar to the old plan. Along it's path we find our next round of sites

Gwinnett County Airport, near I85 and Ga 316. Too far out to get Marta. At one time was the leading candidate for the second airport. WN was secretly backing a movement to expand the airport to allow passenger operations.I think it was back in the mid 80's. Delta is rumored to have a hand in stopping it. Laws were passed to make it a non pax airport.

Going clockwise we have to go to the far south, Falcon Field in Fayette Co. Lots of Nimbys, plus it's south of ATL, What's the point?

Up on the northwest side their are two options. Paulding County Airport and Cobb County Airport. There was recently an attempt at Paulding Co. The location is pretty bad with no interstate access and kind of removed from the Metro population being near Alabama. The moment never really got going between the local population not wanting the airport and likely some political moves by Delta. Cobb is in a good location as far as road access and being close to the population, but like most of the others it is landlocked.

The final site is the Dawsonville airport. Not the Elliot Family airport, that's private for the NASCAR drivers. The airport that was never built. Now called the 'Dawson Forest City of Atlanta Tract'. Originally used by Lockheed to test the development of nuclear powered aircraft, then purchased by the City of Atlanta in 1971as a site for the second airport. Wiki says the site topography was found to be unsuitable for an airport and the project was ended. It was almost made into a reservoir and then finally forested parkland. I would bet the land survey results were skewed by a certain airline that did not want a second airport in Atlanta.
 
deltairlines
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:34 am

chemmy wrote:
I live about 30 minutes SE of ATL but when I was having to drive to class up in Kennesaw I'd see billboards advertising Chattanooga airport as an alternative to ATL.


In Kennesaw you could make a case for that. It's about 1h20 (IF no traffic) up I-75 to CHA, and if you hit traffic (either on the Connector or 285) it can easily take an hour-plus to get to ATL.

That being said, pre-COVID close to half the flights from CHA went to ATL anyway. If you're in Kennesaw and driving up to CHA just to fly out of ATL, you better be saving a ton of money to make up for the time wasted driving up there just to fly right back down.
 
canyonblue17
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Thu Jun 04, 2020 4:17 am

I normally would support a second airport. Spread the wealth, give passengers options. But to be honest - my experience is ATL works fine. For a huge airport it’s actually well located and well organized. I get in and out of there much faster than many other US airports - including Orlando, OHare and especially Denver. Could it use some sprucing up - of course. Are the terminals a little snug - no doubt. But there are plenty more reasons to invest in improving ATL rather than developing an entire other airport.
negative ghostrider the pattern is full
 
pezzy669
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Thu Jun 04, 2020 4:35 am

Murdoughnut wrote:
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.


How do you derive that "ATL is hardly convenient to where most of its local O&D pax live"? Please tell me your logic.

#1) ATL is actually quite convenient to where most of its local O&D pax live - Downtown (mostly business) - 10 mins, Midtown - business and residential - 15 mins, Buckhead - business and residential 20 mins - and all 3 are easily connected via rail direct to the terminal at the airport. Even counting some of the ITP/OTP suburbs (Marietta/Smyrna, Sandy Springs, Duluth, Norcross) you really are only 30 mins from ATL - mind you with good traffic. You are basically implying that the people of Alpharetta and Johns Creek are the majority of O&D at ATL and exclude every single person south of I-20 in the city as a non-traveler.

#2) I can infer from your blind assumptions/logic that you know nothing of ATL at all since you are mentioning PDK as an available 2nd airport. You know this airport is surrounded on all ends by single family home neighborhoods, shopping centers and apartment complexes with ZERO room for expansion. That 6,000 foot runway is going to do great to be a secondary airport against ATL.
 
strfyr51
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:04 pm

Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:58 am

usdcaguy wrote:
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.

that's a cue marketing trip , that is UNTIL you land at Chattanooga and find out where you are in relationship TO Atlanta. I used to drive down to ATL from Chicago to see my Daughter and Grandkids. It's an easy drive even for me until crossing I-40 to turn south on I-75. just outside of Chattanooga. Then it was still 2 hours into Atlanta to my favorite hotel near the Airport,
 
n2dru
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:11 am

pezzy669 wrote:
Murdoughnut wrote:
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.


How do you derive that "ATL is hardly convenient to where most of its local O&D pax live"? Please tell me your logic.

#1) ATL is actually quite convenient to where most of its local O&D pax live - Downtown (mostly business) - 10 mins, Midtown - business and residential - 15 mins, Buckhead - business and residential 20 mins - and all 3 are easily connected via rail direct to the terminal at the airport. Even counting some of the ITP/OTP suburbs (Marietta/Smyrna, Sandy Springs, Duluth, Norcross) you really are only 30 mins from ATL - mind you with good traffic. You are basically implying that the people of Alpharetta and Johns Creek are the majority of O&D at ATL and exclude every single person south of I-20 in the city as a non-traveler.

#2) I can infer from your blind assumptions/logic that you know nothing of ATL at all since you are mentioning PDK as an available 2nd airport. You know this airport is surrounded on all ends by single family home neighborhoods, shopping centers and apartment complexes with ZERO room for expansion. That 6,000 foot runway is going to do great to be a secondary airport against ATL.


1000x this...all of ATL's o&d is not on the northside. Ppl below I-20 travel extensively as well.
 
Atlwarrior
Posts: 476
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:33 am

HunterATL wrote:
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.


Thank you, I hope all read your post, and put this subject to rest.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 6275
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:18 pm

Dalmd88 wrote:
So lets do the round up of the possible locations and the back story

Fulton Co Airport, "Charlie Brown". West side of downtown just outside of I285 along !20, Marta (mass transit) could easily be extended to it. Downsides, it's small and land locked. River, I20, large hill near by. It has some corporate traffic.

Moving clockwise to the north, Dobbins Air Base. Near I285 and I75 intersection. Quite possibly the worst traffic in the entire Metro. Little chance for Marta to be extended. Extremely land locked with most land used for either military or military aircraft factory in the form of Lockheed.

Next up Peachtree-Dekalb (PDK). old military field, heavy corporate use near I85 inside of I285. Not far from Marta line. Once again landlocked by a lot of Nimby residents. It can't have scheduled pax operations. It was mandated by the Nimby residents, not Delta. They are a very vocal crowd that complain about anything that is flying overhead.

That's the inner ring of sites. Now the out lying sites. First a little road history. I285 was constructed in the1960's. With lanes added in the 70's. GDOT was already planning a second loop a little farther out, Roughly in the same corridor of Ga-20. Opposition to road building shrank it to just the area between the northern ends of I75 and I85. By the 2000's it was 'canceled', but Improvments to Ga20 look very similar to the old plan. Along it's path we find our next round of sites

Gwinnett County Airport, near I85 and Ga 316. Too far out to get Marta. At one time was the leading candidate for the second airport. WN was secretly backing a movement to expand the airport to allow passenger operations.I think it was back in the mid 80's. Delta is rumored to have a hand in stopping it. Laws were passed to make it a non pax airport.

Going clockwise we have to go to the far south, Falcon Field in Fayette Co. Lots of Nimbys, plus it's south of ATL, What's the point?

Up on the northwest side their are two options. Paulding County Airport and Cobb County Airport. There was recently an attempt at Paulding Co. The location is pretty bad with no interstate access and kind of removed from the Metro population being near Alabama. The moment never really got going between the local population not wanting the airport and likely some political moves by Delta. Cobb is in a good location as far as road access and being close to the population, but like most of the others it is landlocked.

The final site is the Dawsonville airport. Not the Elliot Family airport, that's private for the NASCAR drivers. The airport that was never built. Now called the 'Dawson Forest City of Atlanta Tract'. Originally used by Lockheed to test the development of nuclear powered aircraft, then purchased by the City of Atlanta in 1971as a site for the second airport. Wiki says the site topography was found to be unsuitable for an airport and the project was ended. It was almost made into a reservoir and then finally forested parkland. I would bet the land survey results were skewed by a certain airline that did not want a second airport in Atlanta.


The Dawsonville site in 1971 could have been killed by the DL/EA combination who shared ATL and were pushing for the current ATL.
 
catiii
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:34 pm

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

.


ATL is also massively inconvenient for anyone north of 285, especialy in the high growth areas of north Cobb, Cherokee, Bartow, Forsyth, and Paulding etc counties. That area could support a smaller second airport. As the Atlanta MPO expands outward ATL is well suited to capture all the growth south of 285, down those 75/85 corridors.

The group that privatized PAE had a plan some years back to do the same at LZU, which fell apart when the community voted out some of the commissioners who were supportive. The Paulding airport would be the most likely candidate given geography, community support, and the ability to expand but Delta has tied it up in litigation for some time.
 
micstatic
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:41 pm

I'm a resident and will agree that while a large chunk of South I20 travelers contribute to very significant numbers IMO the majority of travelers (O+D) still come from north of 285. I personally would love to see a northern alternative. Kennesaw would make sense except for the nimby movement. I also think if Dobbins could ever work out that would be fantastic to
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luckyone
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:34 pm

CobaltScar wrote:
GA needs a airport to serve north GA. Allegiant would do well somewhere between cumming and alpharetta

Do tell where. There's not an airport in that area. That area is largely built out at this point, with in many cases high dollar real estate.

I'm an Atlanta native, and I can sum this up in two words "suburban sprawl." I grew up a stone's throw from LZU from the time I was 9 months old (my family followed the white flight up I-85 in the mid 80s) until I moved away from the state in my 20s, and I had family who lived in Forsyth County. So I know this discussion very well. I recall the initial push to develop LZU in the early 90s, when that area was more or less the outer edge of suburban development in the Atlanta area--the areas beyond Lawrenceville were largely farms/large plots of family owned land that were piece by piece turned into housing. The people who lived there (and now there are many tens of thousands more) balked with the rationale of "If we wanted to live close to the airport, we still would." This area is now far too populated to put an airport without having to build over a lot of development, meaning two if not three major roads would have to be rerouted, and likely you would encroach into downtown Lawrenceville in order to lengthen it's 1,800ft runway. Also see HunterATL's post for other political reasons why that isn't going to happen. That ship has sailed.

Now, think of Forsyth County as Gwinnett County 25 years ago. The area south of Cumming toward Alpharetta has been built out, and the northern part of Forsyth County toward Dawsonville and over toward Cherokee County is seeing 1990s/early 2000's Gwinnett County style growth. By that I mean what was once large tracts of family-owned land (there was once a very large horse farm across from my aunt's subdivision that is now just more 1/4 acre lot subdivisions) is now piece by piece being turned into suburban tract housing, and all the single lane highways are being widened--my brother moved over that way shortly after I left and when I visit it's like deja vu from my childhood watching the Lawrenceville-Suwanee area get built up. For reasons that boggle my mind and are beyond the scope of this thread, a great many of the people buying these houses are folks moving over from Gwinnett County--and all they're really doing is repeating the whole cycle again. What that means is any discussion of an airport is DOA, because "If we wanted to live close to the airport, we still would." You're dealing with an escapist suburban mentality on one side of town, and you have a lot of owners of undeveloped areas on the other who are looking to cash in by selling to developers. Neither will sign off on an airport.

Now, let's consider topography. The area along GA 400 is ill-suited for an airport. It's very hilly. Cherokee County even more so where there's the existing Cherokee County Airport. Leveling that off for a runway comes with a pricetag that doesn't help the case for a second airport.

And all that is before the politics of Delta and lawyers and the fact that ATL sits at the meeting point of every major interstate in Georgia. What we're seeing is the downside of endless suburban development.
 
CobaltScar
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Thu Jun 04, 2020 4:47 pm

I have not lived in N. GA for many years granted. Has it gotten that bad? I remember when there was ONE traffic light in all of dawson county, im talking before that outlet mall was built.
 
flyfresno
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:10 pm

Paulding does not seem like it would be a huge threat to Delta. It's way outside of the city (more than 2X the distance from Buckhead than ATL, for example), and while it's a similar distance to some NW burbs like Smyrna (with traffic it would almost assuredly be a shorter drive most times of the day), it would take a huge critical mass of flights there to really make it worth traveling to for all but vacation travelers looking for cheap fares. It also does not have the easy metro access that ATL does, and it's doubtful we would ever see anything more than a shuttle bus to the closest metro stop. I could see Allegiant setting up shop there to draw from Atlanta as well as within the Birmingham-Chattanooga-Atlanta triangle, and maybe even an airline like Sun Country, but it just seems way too far out to be worth it to the vast majority of travelers, especially business travelers. It's obviously way closer than Beauvais is to Paris, but I could see an airport in Paulding playing out in a similar way: crappy facilities and nothing but LCCs. Why would Delta care about that?
 
luckyone
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:51 pm

[twoid][/twoid]
CobaltScar wrote:
I have not lived in N. GA for many years granted. Has it gotten that bad? I remember when there was ONE traffic light in all of dawson county, im talking before that outlet mall was built.

Then you would not recognize it, though I will acknowledge that's somewhat of a subjective statement because I was quite young when Dawsonville Outlets were built. But in general, now it's on its way to becoming a cookie cutter suburb as development creeps up 400. Whether it's bad or not is based upon your interpretation. Now, if you really want to have your mind blown, head over to Ellijay, where my maternal grandmother's family is from. When I was a kid there was a coin laundry, a Dairy Queen, a bank, and a mom and pop restaurant which wasn't even open every day of the week. Now...people commute down to Atlanta from there.

flyfresno wrote:
Paulding does not seem like it would be a huge threat to Delta. It's way outside of the city (more than 2X the distance from Buckhead than ATL, for example), and while it's a similar distance to some NW burbs like Smyrna (with traffic it would almost assuredly be a shorter drive most times of the day), it would take a huge critical mass of flights there to really make it worth traveling to for all but vacation travelers looking for cheap fares. It also does not have the easy metro access that ATL does, and it's doubtful we would ever see anything more than a shuttle bus to the closest metro stop. I could see Allegiant setting up shop there to draw from Atlanta as well as within the Birmingham-Chattanooga-Atlanta triangle, and maybe even an airline like Sun Country, but it just seems way too far out to be worth it to the vast majority of travelers, especially business travelers. It's obviously way closer than Beauvais is to Paris, but I could see an airport in Paulding playing out in a similar way: crappy facilities and nothing but LCCs. Why would Delta care about that?

Delta indeed may not care about that. But then there's also the question: what good does that style of vacation airline service provide Metro Atlanta? It's only a supposition, but I would wager that they wouldn't get much traffic. Most families in Atlanta drive to the beach because it's close enough and significantly cheaper when you factor in the cost of plane tickets for kids and the need for a rental once you arrive.
Last edited by luckyone on Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
HunterATL
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:00 pm

flyfresno wrote:
Paulding does not seem like it would be a huge threat to Delta. It's way outside of the city (more than 2X the distance from Buckhead than ATL, for example), and while it's a similar distance to some NW burbs like Smyrna (with traffic it would almost assuredly be a shorter drive most times of the day), it would take a huge critical mass of flights there to really make it worth traveling to for all but vacation travelers looking for cheap fares. It also does not have the easy metro access that ATL does, and it's doubtful we would ever see anything more than a shuttle bus to the closest metro stop. I could see Allegiant setting up shop there to draw from Atlanta as well as within the Birmingham-Chattanooga-Atlanta triangle, and maybe even an airline like Sun Country, but it just seems way too far out to be worth it to the vast majority of travelers, especially business travelers. It's obviously way closer than Beauvais is to Paris, but I could see an airport in Paulding playing out in a similar way: crappy facilities and nothing but LCCs. Why would Delta care about that?


I believe Delta's ultimate concern is a dilution of landing fees and pfcs between 2 airports which is likely without a significant increase in total demand for air travel to the Atlanta region. If Allegiant, Spirit, JetBlue, etc. move their flights to a new facility in the metro area, that's fewer landing fees and pfcs collected by Hartsfield-Jackson unless someone replaces those lost flights and passengers. Presently, there isn't any pent up demand for the region that Hartsfield-Jackson cannot meet. The transfer of flights without meaningful replacement means Atlanta must raise landing fees and pfcs on Delta and the remaining carriers to continue to repay the existing bonds and to finance any future renovations and expansion. And Delta doubts it would end with just LLC's leaving; Delta likely believes that American and United would move a few daily flights from Hartsfield-Jackson to EWR, LGA, ORD, DFW, IAH, etc. with over time the possibility of even more. This would likely necessitate Delta doing the same to compete for Atlanta-originating traffic to those cities and other business and leisure destinations, thus resulting in an ever greater loss of fees for Hartsfield-Jackson and an ever increasing cost structure for the Atlanta hub.

This is not all to dissimilar from the position the City of Dallas took regarding the Wright Amendment. Dallas is an obligor on all of the bonds at DFW, and DFW has spent significant sums over the past 15 years for the train system and Terminal D among other projects. Dallas did not want DAL to open up to the world to simply see fees move from DFW to DAL. Dallas needed DFW to be able to continue to generate enough fees to pay the existing and planned bonds. This is one of the reasons, and by no means the only, the city had no issues with capping the number of gates at DAL: it limited the city's exposure to fee shifting from one airport to another.
 
blockski
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:22 pm

There are lots of reasons why a second airport won't happen. But reverse the question: for what reason is a second airport necessary? What is the purpose?

If the goal is to provide an alternative to Delta, then any effort is doomed to fail - it's not plausible that a second, competing airport would ever have the scale to provide more competition in the ATL market. Instead, the best outcome is via expanding opportunities for competition at ATL itself.

If the goal is to just provide closer access to populations in the northern suburbs, that's fine - but really small potatoes. We'd be talking something like PAE to SEA.
 
catiii
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:01 pm

blockski wrote:

If the goal is to just provide closer access to populations in the northern suburbs, that's fine - but really small potatoes. We'd be talking something like PAE to SEA.


Close to 4M resident in the MPO live on the northside of Atlanta, including Forsyth, Cherokee, DeKalb, Cobb, Gwinnett, Dawson, and Pickens Counties. It's not "small potatoes."
 
blockski
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:52 pm

catiii wrote:
blockski wrote:

If the goal is to just provide closer access to populations in the northern suburbs, that's fine - but really small potatoes. We'd be talking something like PAE to SEA.


Close to 4M resident in the MPO live on the northside of Atlanta, including Forsyth, Cherokee, DeKalb, Cobb, Gwinnett, Dawson, and Pickens Counties. It's not "small potatoes."


Yes, but so what? Those 4 million residents already have access to a great airport - it's just not immediately in their backyard (which they likely wouldn't want anyway).

And my comparison of a new North Atlanta airport would be relatively small potatoes - just like PAE is small potatoes to SEA. There is zero chance that a new airport would have the scale to be a competitive hub against Delta at ATL. The OP's comparison implied looking at other cities with multiple airports and multiple hubs (NYC, LA, DC, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, etc) and in all of those cases, the newer airports are the bigger ones, built to accommodate the jet age and massively growing traffic because the older airport sites were constrained.

ATL, like lots of other cities, went through the same process but was able to expand the footprint of the existing airport rather than create an entirely new one. Other places opened new airports while closing the old ones (like BWI, DTW, and others).

In some places, there are lots of secondary airports with commercial service (LA and the Bay Area come to mind), but both have key differences from Atlanta. Those areas are polycentric, and those airports have had commercial air service for a very long time; BUR has had commercial service since the 40s, SNA since the 60s, etc. In the Bay Area, SJC has had airline flights since the 40s and OAK has had them since the 1920s!
 
User avatar
william
Posts: 3334
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:22 pm

wnflyguy wrote:
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


Those who are old enough to remember the 80s and 90s remember SWA made a play for Fulton County Airport service on the west side but it was shot down for "unknown" (Delta) reasons.
 
Dalmd88
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:43 pm

blockski wrote:
catiii wrote:
blockski wrote:

If the goal is to just provide closer access to populations in the northern suburbs, that's fine - but really small potatoes. We'd be talking something like PAE to SEA.


Close to 4M resident in the MPO live on the northside of Atlanta, including Forsyth, Cherokee, DeKalb, Cobb, Gwinnett, Dawson, and Pickens Counties. It's not "small potatoes."


Yes, but so what? Those 4 million residents already have access to a great airport - it's just not immediately in their backyard (which they likely wouldn't want anyway).

And my comparison of a new North Atlanta airport would be relatively small potatoes - just like PAE is small potatoes to SEA. There is zero chance that a new airport would have the scale to be a competitive hub against Delta at ATL. The OP's comparison implied looking at other cities with multiple airports and multiple hubs (NYC, LA, DC, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, etc) and in all of those cases, the newer airports are the bigger ones, built to accommodate the jet age and massively growing traffic because the older airport sites were constrained.

ATL, like lots of other cities, went through the same process but was able to expand the footprint of the existing airport rather than create an entirely new one. Other places opened new airports while closing the old ones (like BWI, DTW, and others).

In some places, there are lots of secondary airports with commercial service (LA and the Bay Area come to mind), but both have key differences from Atlanta. Those areas are polycentric, and those airports have had commercial air service for a very long time; BUR has had commercial service since the 40s, SNA since the 60s, etc. In the Bay Area, SJC has had airline flights since the 40s and OAK has had them since the 1920s!

This is a very good analysis of this subject. If in the 1950's PDK was 'the Atlanta airport'. Atlanta would likely have two Pax served airports at this time. When the Jet age of the 60's hit PDK expansion would already have been tough too do. It likely would have a single longer runway than it does now, but not been able to expand as much as needed. A second airport would have been undertaken at that time. Maybe at the present site of Hartsfield, maybe at some green space on the northside around Roswell or Alpharetta. Back then there was a lot of undeveloped land up there.

As for making a second airport now. It's not going to happen in our lifetime. ATL has room for growth with our taking anymore land. The plans are drawn for a sixth runway just north of the 5th. Concourse expansion can come off of the Terminal F to the east. Those two items are now pushed further in the future now. Yes, people on the far northside would like a closer airport, but they don't want to live near it. they are a bigger threat to any new passenger service than roadblocks that Delta would put up. Yes, Delta would put up roadblocks. Loss of money for ATL is one reason. They also don't want to have a split operation in Atlanta. If there was a second northern airport they would have to serve it to major domestic business markets.
 
Dalmd88
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:55 pm

william wrote:
wnflyguy wrote:
FWAERJ wrote:

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.

Those who are old enough to remember the 80s and 90s remember SWA made a play for Fulton County Airport service on the west side but it was shot down for "unknown" (Delta) reasons.

They also made a play to service LZU. this would have made more sense than FTY. The space limitations at FTY were already a problem. Plus the hill on the west bank of the river is a problem that can never go away. It also had a neighborhood problem. Not Nimbys like most of the other sites, but a "I'm not going to drive in THAT neighborhood" problem. It was never as bad as the perception, but that is how the suburbanites of the city have thought.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:16 pm

Dalmd88 wrote:
william wrote:
wnflyguy wrote:

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.

Those who are old enough to remember the 80s and 90s remember SWA made a play for Fulton County Airport service on the west side but it was shot down for "unknown" (Delta) reasons.

They also made a play to service LZU. this would have made more sense than FTY. The space limitations at FTY were already a problem. Plus the hill on the west bank of the river is a problem that can never go away. It also had a neighborhood problem. Not Nimbys like most of the other sites, but a "I'm not going to drive in THAT neighborhood" problem. It was never as bad as the perception, but that is how the suburbanites of the city have thought.


In the 80s or 90s, was the "neighborhood problem" at FTY any worse than DET or MDW? (I'm not asking to argue - I genuinely don't know.)
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catiii
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:18 pm

blockski wrote:
catiii wrote:
blockski wrote:

If the goal is to just provide closer access to populations in the northern suburbs, that's fine - but really small potatoes. We'd be talking something like PAE to SEA.


Close to 4M resident in the MPO live on the northside of Atlanta, including Forsyth, Cherokee, DeKalb, Cobb, Gwinnett, Dawson, and Pickens Counties. It's not "small potatoes."


Yes, but so what? Those 4 million residents already have access to a great airport - it's just not immediately in their backyard (which they likely wouldn't want anyway).

And my comparison of a new North Atlanta airport would be relatively small potatoes - just like PAE is small potatoes to SEA. There is zero chance that a new airport would have the scale to be a competitive hub against Delta at ATL. The OP's comparison implied looking at other cities with multiple airports and multiple hubs (NYC, LA, DC, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, etc) and in all of those cases, the newer airports are the bigger ones, built to accommodate the jet age and massively growing traffic because the older airport sites were constrained.

ATL, like lots of other cities, went through the same process but was able to expand the footprint of the existing airport rather than create an entirely new one. Other places opened new airports while closing the old ones (like BWI, DTW, and others).

In some places, there are lots of secondary airports with commercial service (LA and the Bay Area come to mind), but both have key differences from Atlanta. Those areas are polycentric, and those airports have had commercial air service for a very long time; BUR has had commercial service since the 40s, SNA since the 60s, etc. In the Bay Area, SJC has had airline flights since the 40s and OAK has had them since the 1920s!


Is LGA a "competitive hub" to JFK? Is MDW a "competitive hub" to ORD? Is HOU a "competitive hub" to IAH? Of course not. But they are secondary airports serving dense cities.

And Atlanta has had air service since the 1930s...not sure what your point is there.
 
blockski
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Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Fri Jun 05, 2020 3:54 pm

catiii wrote:

Is LGA a "competitive hub" to JFK? Is MDW a "competitive hub" to ORD? Is HOU a "competitive hub" to IAH? Of course not. But they are secondary airports serving dense cities.


Don't read too much into the 'hub' language - yes, absolutely, all of those airports are competitive to one another for passengers. The particular cases for MDW and HOU are indeed rival hubs for a particular airline that chose to operate and the older, smaller airport. LGA, MDW, HOU and others are all quite busy airports under normal circumstances.

And Atlanta has had air service since the 1930s...not sure what your point is there.


The point is simple: the airport isn't the same as it was in the 1930s. Atlanta has built an entirely new airport since then, just like Chicago did. The only difference is that Atlanta built their airport on the same site as the first one, and Chicago picked a new site.

All of those older 'secondary' airports had a time when they were the primary airports for their respective cities. And because of that, they're often closer to city centers, well established, etc. The point is that none of those criteria apply to Atlanta, and for that reason Atlanta won't have a secondary airport with major traffic.
 
n2dru
Posts: 192
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:02 am

Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:45 am

Cubsrule wrote:
Dalmd88 wrote:
william wrote:

They also made a play to service LZU. this would have made more sense than FTY. The space limitations at FTY were already a problem. Plus the hill on the west bank of the river is a problem that can never go away. It also had a neighborhood problem. Not Nimbys like most of the other sites, but a "I'm not going to drive in THAT neighborhood" problem. It was never as bad as the perception, but that is how the suburbanites of the city have thought.


In the 80s or 90s, was the "neighborhood problem" at FTY any worse than DET or MDW? (I'm not asking to argue - I genuinely don't know.)


Honestly not really. Six Flags is nearby and has visitors from all over the metro area. Southwest tried hard but was met with local and political resistance...the neighborhood problem was all in theory attributed to white flight. The area is more industrial than anything at this point.
 
AUxyz
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:27 am

Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Sat Jun 06, 2020 11:48 am

Given that there isn't a suitable airport already built (unless the C-130 line is closed), hundreds of millions would have to be spent and need to be paid back, just to cut down on drive time for people on the North Side of Atlanta.

Consequently, any flights from a second airport would start at a cost disadvantage. Then, a second airport would serve a limited set of destinations. Relatively few passengers would connect through Dallas, Charlotte and Dulles as opposed to taking a non-stop out of ATL. There might be some premium from non-stop passengers to that limited set of destinations. To get a large number of passengers, the facility would have to be subsidized enough to bring in a LCC.

Lastly, Atlanta isn't "full" by any measure. Delta and Southwest would be more than happy to trade off am O&D passenger for someone connecting.

If lower prices or more access for another carrier is needed, another terminal or more gates could be built.

To address the traffic congestion, improvements to public transit to bring passengers across Atlanta have to be about as cost effective as a new airport and benefit more than just wealthy consultants. New security lanes are similarly possible.

A new airport has to be traded off against improvements to the existing one.

Moreover, for all the faults that come from Delta and the airports relationship with Atlanta, the current relationship has brought more flights to more cities across the world than Atlanta would have of it had more airports or better competition. City leaders see the existing arrangement as one that brings them conventions and corporate headquarters, which are both much more valuable than the airport jobs themselves

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btbx11
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:02 am

Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:18 pm

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.


Actually - like most of the US South, Walmart is the largest employer in Georgia.
 
dstblj52
Posts: 501
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:38 pm

Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:48 pm

AUxyz wrote:
Given that there isn't a suitable airport already built (unless the C-130 line is closed), hundreds of millions would have to be spent and need to be paid back, just to cut down on drive time for people on the North Side of Atlanta.

Consequently, any flights from a second airport would start at a cost disadvantage. Then, a second airport would serve a limited set of destinations. Relatively few passengers would connect through Dallas, Charlotte and Dulles as opposed to taking a non-stop out of ATL. There might be some premium from non-stop passengers to that limited set of destinations. To get a large number of passengers, the facility would have to be subsidized enough to bring in a LCC.

Lastly, Atlanta isn't "full" by any measure. Delta and Southwest would be more than happy to trade off am O&D passenger for someone connecting.

If lower prices or more access for another carrier is needed, another terminal or more gates could be built.

To address the traffic congestion, improvements to public transit to bring passengers across Atlanta have to be about as cost effective as a new airport and benefit more than just wealthy consultants. New security lanes are similarly possible.

A new airport has to be traded off against improvements to the existing one.

Moreover, for all the faults that come from Delta and the airports relationship with Atlanta, the current relationship has brought more flights to more cities across the world than Atlanta would have of it had more airports or better competition. City leaders see the existing arrangement as one that brings them conventions and corporate headquarters, which are both much more valuable than the airport jobs themselves

Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk

Agreed because the fees are higher spirit frontier and allegiant are not going to care unless the airport is subsidized and it won't be because the city, delta, and any angry neighbors would kickup a incredible political storm about why are we subsidizing competitions to a crown jewel of the city. Those I can already tell you what a new north side of Atlanta airport would see DL and WN would both fly to Florida probably MCO and FLL and 9e/XY/OO would operate some DCI 70/76 seat jets to major business destinations probably pricing them 100+ more expensive than the same flight out of ATL to limit the impact on the hub, then some genius in 10-15 years is going to propose tearing down this airport to build more high dollar real estate.
 
jfern022
Posts: 183
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:24 pm

Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:22 pm

Those that want an airport on the north side want it up there but opposite of where they are. Those in Cherokee want it further east. Those in Forsyth will want it out west in Paulding. They all would want it up north, but not in their county simply for having the headache a second airport brings.

One just needs to look at the FAA noise complaint summaries for PDK. There are a couple residences which contribute at least a couple hundred complaints a year alone. You have cities of Chamblee and Brookhaven directly surrounding it with very vocal local governments, along with Dunwoody and Sandy Springs directly north. A lot of money lives in those areas. I live under the approaches for the 3's on the south side of 85 in Brookhaven and my neighbors will pitch a fit when a jet comes over. I can only imagine when it's an RJ/E-Jet or 73W.

Lastly, ATL had plans for a South Terminal Complex between 9/27 and 10/28, just west of the taxiway. The original intention was to move all non-DL and non Skyteam airlines to that complex, leaving the current terminal for DL and their partners. This was before the mergers of WN/FL, AA/US, etc. Since the consolidations and with upgauging at DL, less reliance on smaller RJ's with less frequencies, there was no need. Even before COVID, during the last summer when DL ran record numbers of flights via ATL, there were still lulls between the banks where gates would go empty, both DL and non. If they need to expand, they are building out T-South/North and can build concourses G/H/I/J.

Simply put, HJIA is not full and may not be for a long time again now. If there is a serious desire, they should build the MARTA lines up the three north highways (75, 400, 85). That would skip the traffic.
 
n2dru
Posts: 192
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:02 am

Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Sun Jun 07, 2020 6:42 am

btbx11 wrote:
n2dru wrote:
Antarius wrote:

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.


Actually - like most of the US South, Walmart is the largest employer in Georgia.


Not really take a look at the link I posted earlier.
 
Dalmd88
Posts: 3150
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 3:19 am

Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Sun Jun 07, 2020 1:30 pm

Cubsrule wrote:

In the 80s or 90s, was the "neighborhood problem" at FTY any worse than DET or MDW? (I'm not asking to argue - I genuinely don't know.)

Not really was is true then or now. It is a perception problem more than reality. I would see that as a road block to get people to start using FTY back in the 80's.

A lot of suburbia Atlanta is wary of any part of the city inside or relatively close to the perimeter. It kind of runs both directions. Those of us ITP tend to stay inside and those OTP stay outside. The only major exception is pro sports. The OTP crowd comes downtown for football, soccer and basketball. Football and soccer did look at moving OTP like the Braves did but instead built a new downtown dome.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 14572
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:27 pm

Dalmd88 wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:

In the 80s or 90s, was the "neighborhood problem" at FTY any worse than DET or MDW? (I'm not asking to argue - I genuinely don't know.)

Not really was is true then or now. It is a perception problem more than reality. I would see that as a road block to get people to start using FTY back in the 80's.

A lot of suburbia Atlanta is wary of any part of the city inside or relatively close to the perimeter. It kind of runs both directions. Those of us ITP tend to stay inside and those OTP stay outside. The only major exception is pro sports. The OTP crowd comes downtown for football, soccer and basketball. Football and soccer did look at moving OTP like the Braves did but instead built a new downtown dome.


I think government will - which may not ever have been present in Atlanta - can overcome a lot of the perception problems. Many older Chicagoans, especially those from the north side and north suburbs, have very negative perceptions of MDW. The City did a tremendous job of cleaning up Cicero Avenue, and I don't know many folks under 40 who hesitate at all about using MDW. Of course, most of the MDW improvements occurred in a time period when ORD was a maxed-out, delayed, congested mess, so it's not really an apples-to-apples comparison with FTY.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
Antarius
Posts: 2512
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:27 pm

Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:59 pm

n2dru wrote:
btbx11 wrote:
n2dru wrote:

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


Actually - like most of the US South, Walmart is the largest employer in Georgia.


Not really take a look at the link I posted earlier.


Your link is wrong.

I posted a link from the AJC that shows Coca Cola has less than 10k employees in GA.
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
 
zuckie13
Posts: 314
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:23 pm

Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Sun Jun 07, 2020 3:02 pm

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!


Sorry read this and have to add this quote from Futurama:

"No! Ancient Atlanta was more than just a Delta hub. It was a vibrant metropolis, the equal of Paris or New York."
 
n2dru
Posts: 192
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:02 am

Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Sun Jun 07, 2020 6:26 pm

Antarius wrote:
n2dru wrote:
btbx11 wrote:

Actually - like most of the US South, Walmart is the largest employer in Georgia.


Not really take a look at the link I posted earlier.


Your link is wrong.

I posted a link from the AJC that shows Coca Cola has less than 10k employees in GA.


The link I posted is from Atlanta Business Chronicle and Coca Cola isn't in the top 5. As stated previously Emory University is the largest employer in the city.
 
Antarius
Posts: 2512
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:27 pm

Re: Why no second commercial airport for Atlanta?

Sun Jun 07, 2020 7:04 pm

n2dru wrote:
Antarius wrote:
n2dru wrote:

Not really take a look at the link I posted earlier.


Your link is wrong.

I posted a link from the AJC that shows Coca Cola has less than 10k employees in GA.


The link I posted is from Atlanta Business Chronicle and Coca Cola isn't in the top 5. As stated previously Emory University is the largest employer in the city.


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