Plans For Second Commercial Airport In Metro Atlanta Moving Forward
 
  
 
 
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Plans For Second Commercial Airport In Metro Atlanta Moving Forward
 
 

January 16, 2015 - The recent actions by newly and re-elected members of the Paulding County Commission, which attempt to reverse the progress Paulding County Airport Authority and Propeller Airports have made to bring limited commercial air service and related economic development to the county, is yet another attempt that many believe is Delta Air Lines way to maintain its near monopoly of air travel in metro-Atlanta.

“It is not a surprise that the first act of these three commissioners is to try to stop the years-long progress of improving Silver Comet Field for the residents of Paulding County” said Brett Smith, CEO of Propeller Airports, which has a contract with the Paulding County Airport Authority to develop Silver Comet Field.

“It is not a surprise that the first act of these three commissioners is to try to stop the years-long progress of improving Silver Comet Field for the residents of Paulding County.”

 

“We saw this coming. Delta has had a slew of lawyers on this and there are even circumstances surrounding the election of these three commissioners that don’t add up. This is just another reason we filed the complaint with the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) last October and we are encouraged that DOT continues to investigate these issues.” At Tuesday’s commission meeting in remote Paulding County, there were attorneys with ties to Delta in attendance.

As stated in the complaint filed with the DOT against Delta, Propeller and Paulding County officials believe it is in the public interest for the Secretary of the U.S. DOT to investigate the campaign, orchestrated and perpetuated by Delta Air Lines, to prevent the establishment of a second air carrier airport in the metro-Atlanta region by using unfair and deceptive practices and unfair methods of competition.

Recently re-elected Commissioner Todd Pownall, along with newly elected Commissioners Tony Crowe and Vernon Collett, put forth three agenda items on Tuesday in an orchestrated attempt to derail Silver Comet Field from receiving its Part 139 Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration – the certificate needed to begin commercial air service.

 

 

Propeller and the airport authority believe that the one agenda item which passed, to withdraw Paulding County Commission support for the Part 139 Certificate request from the Federal Aviation Administration, will not hinder the future of commercial service at the airport. There are two sponsors for the Certificate, the county and the airport authority and both parties must jointly agree to remove the request. The Paulding County Airport Authority does not agree to withdraw its request.

However, the more serious initiative was the introduction of two agenda items which sought to remove several Paulding County Industrial Building Authority and Paulding County Airport Authority board members who support the commercialization of Silver Comet Field and replace them with people who oppose that plan. Those items were tabled to allow the county attorney time to investigate whether the Paulding County Board of Commissioners has the authority to remove and replace members of these two boards without cause.

After conferring with various experts in constitutional law and county board appointments, it is believe the Board of Commissioners does not have the authority to make those changes. The Paulding County Airport Authority and Propeller is looking forward to the completion of the environmental assessment and the day when limited commercial air service and related economic growth at Silver Comet Field is a reality.

Completed in 2008, Silver Comet Field, located in Metro Atlanta, is one of only a handful of new airports built in the United States over the past two decades. The primary motivation for its construction was economic development, vis-à-vis leveraging the substantial aerospace talent in the region, and offering a high-quality platform to attract aerospace firms.

The county is committed to having one of the most business-friendly environments in the United States, as well as being the nation's most aggressive in order to create a solid foundation for future generations. As such, county leadership has taken a unique approach to developing Silver Comet. While local governments and public authorities administer almost all U.S. airports, a private company operates Silver Comet with commercial principles. In 2012 the Paulding County Airport Authority (PCAA) entered into a long-term agreement with Propeller Investments, an aerospace and transportation-focused private equity firm. Silver Comet is operated by Propeller Airports LLC, a subsidiary of Propeller Investments.

 
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