Atlanta airport, airlines reach funding agreement

ATLANTA – A number of airlines – including Delta and AirTran – agreed to pay Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport an additional $30 million “supplementary terminal rental payment,” the city announced Tuesday.

“Through this partnership with Delta, AirTran and other carriers, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is poised to retain and sustain its dominance as the busiest and most efficient airport in the world,” Robert Kennedy, interim aviation general manager at Hartsfield-Jackson, said in a news release.

The payments – to be paid over four years starting in 2013 – are designed to help fund the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal set to open in 2012. In addition, the payments will enable the airport to keep “adequate financial reserves to maintain its credit rating,” officials said.

“This agreement is a strong example of a public/private partnership, with the mutual goal of economic growth and prosperity for the Atlanta region, benefiting both its residents and businesses,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in a news release.

“This lease agreement strengthens the fiscal position of the Airport and the City of Atlanta as we move forward to successfully secure funding in the financial bond market later this year for the completion of the international terminal,” Reed added.

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