New 20-year lease deal with Delta ensures Hartsfield-Jackson’s ‘continued trajectory’

Filed in News by on April 27, 2016

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport scored a major victory Wednesday, when the City of Atlanta approved a new 20-year lease agreement with Delta Air Lines.

The deal, which marks the culmination of more than a year of negotiations with Delta, keeps the airline’s corporate headquarters in Atlanta through 2036. At the same time, the agreement sets in motion the Airport’s $6 billion capital improvement program, which includes plans to modernize the domestic terminal, expand cargo operations and concourses, replace aging parking facilities, and construct a world-class hotel and mixed-use development.

“I am proud to stand with [Delta CEO] Richard Anderson today in signing this new 20-year lease agreement,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said. “The City of Atlanta and Delta Air Lines have a special partnership because together, we have been more successful than we could have been on our own.”

The agreement starts July 1. The previous lease agreement was signed in 2009 and was set to expire in 2017.

“Today’s lease signing with Delta Air Lines is a landmark agreement and will ensure the Airport’s continued trajectory as the region’s dominant economic generator for decades to come,” Aviation General Manager Miguel Southwell said. “I believe we have the best possible agreement, which will mutually benefit the Airport, City of Atlanta and our airlines for the future.”

Under terms of the agreement, Hartsfield-Jackson achieves the following:

    • Maintains its status as one of the most cost-competitive airports in the country, with among the lowest Cost Per Enplaned (CPE) passenger.
    • Commits Delta to, among other things, keeping its corporate headquarters in Atlanta for a 20-year period, with significant penalties for non-compliance.
    • Gets preapproval and commitment for ATL’s $6 billion capital improvement plan. Among the facilities included in the program, dubbed ATLNext, are five new gates on Concourse T and a new Concourse G with 10 gates.
    • Provides for three common-use gates or permits the Department of Aviation to construct gates, allowing the Airport to accommodate both new and existing airlines.
    • Strengthens gate utilization provisions that permit the Department of Aviation to recapture gates that are not being adequately used by airlines.
    • Gives the Department of Aviation greater flexibility and independence to conduct its business. As an example, once certain conditions are met, ATLNext projects need no further airline approval.

In many ways, the agreement bolsters Hartsfield-Jackson’s position as a global leader in the aviation industry. In 2015, ATL served 101 million passengers, becoming the first airport in the world to reach that milestone in a single year. A Delta flight arriving in Atlanta was officially identified as carrying the 100 millionth passenger.

Together, Hartsfield-Jackson and Delta have a major economic impact on Atlanta, the region and the state. Hartsfield-Jackson is the largest employer in Georgia, with more than 63,000 people working onsite and providing a direct statewide economic impact of $70 billion. Delta Air Lines is the largest employer in Atlanta, with more than 30,000 employees working at its headquarters.

“Hartsfield-Jackson, the busiest airport in the world, established and plays an integral role in Atlanta’s position as a global economic center and preferred destination,” said Anderson, Delta’s CEO. “It is an example of civic leadership over multiple generations of Atlanta’s progress.”

Anderson will retire from Delta’s CEO post effective May 2 and be elevated to executive chairman of the Delta Air Lines Board of Directors. Ed Bastian, currently president of Delta Air Lines, will be named CEO on May 2 and will work with the City of Atlanta to fulfill the lease agreement conditions.

The City of Atlanta on Wednesday approved a new 20-year lease agreement with Delta Air Lines. The deal will "ensure the Airport's continued trajectory as the region's dominant economic generator for decades to come," Aviation General Manager Miguel Southwell said.

The City of Atlanta on Wednesday approved a new 20-year lease agreement with Delta Air Lines. The deal will “ensure the Airport’s continued trajectory as the region’s dominant economic generator for decades to come,” Aviation General Manager Miguel Southwell said.

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