The international airport in Atlanta is about to get some competition from what is now a small airport in western Georgia — but not if the chief executive officer of Delta Air Lines has anything to say about it.
In fact — in what seems to be a rather bizarre twist — a spokesperson for Delta Air Lines not only practically invited competing airlines to increase their presence at the international airport in Atlanta, but also reportedly offered to assist competitors in the process in order to keep Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport from growing and expanding.
David Austin — the commission chairman of Paulding County — reportedly chastised Richard Anderson by claiming that his comments and actions of his opposition of the expansion of Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport “are in direct opposition to your role as the 2014 chair-elect” of the Metro Atlanta Chamber.
Anderson vowed to work together with Kasim Reed — the current mayor of Atlanta — to oppose any investment towards Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport, which is located approximately 35 miles northwest of Atlanta and west of the small town of Dallas, Georgia.
I am not sure that players of the Atlanta Braves will consider using Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport if that team moves to a new site located in Cobb County — a county which abuts most of the eastern border of Paulding County and is located in the upper center of the map shown above — and starts the 2017 baseball season there, as Delta Air Lines is currently one of the official sponsors of the Atlanta Braves.
Propeller Investments — a private equity firm based in New York and a major source of investment funds for the airport — had created a deal with officials of Paulding County to rename the airfield Silver Comet Field at Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport. The Silver Comet Trail — which passes near the airport — is 61.5 miles long and is a paved trail for people engaged in leisure activities such as walking, hiking, bicycling and horseback riding. It was once an actual rail line which existed from 1897 through 1989 — when it was abandoned — and is named for the passenger rail service which operated on it from 1947 through 1969.
Although passengers based in Atlanta have been known to use the international airports in Birmingham, Nashville, Greenville-Spartanburg, Knoxville and Charlotte as alternatives, the nearest commercial airports to Atlanta are currently located in or near Athens, Macon and Columbus in Georgia; and Chattanooga in Tennessee. Those who are affiliated with the increase of commercial airline service at Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport are aiming to change that — and that does not sit well with officials associated with Delta Air Lines and the city of Atlanta.
However, many major cities in the United States have at least two airports from which passengers may choose to depart — but although Atlanta is the 40th largest city in the United States in terms of population, its metropolitan area is the 11th largest and I believe it can certainly support a second airport.
Should Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport be that second airport? The jury is still out on that one, in my opinion.