ATL signs Sister Airport Agreement with TLV

Filed in News by on May 25, 2016

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) officials on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with their counterparts from Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV), ushering in a new era of friendship and cooperation between the world’s most traveled airport and the largest international airport in Israel.

The Sister Airport Agreement – signed by ATL’s Interim General Manager Roosevelt Council Jr. and TLV Managing Director Gen. Shmuel Zakay – opens the door to a steady exchange of ideas and information to boost economic growth and development as well as international understanding.

“Beyond making two already-amazing airports better, this agreement will help strengthen the ties that exist between our two great nations,” Council told a group of dignitaries at the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal. “All of us at Hartsfield-Jackson as well as the City of Atlanta look forward to an effective, productive relationship for many years to come.”

Gen. Zakay noted that the two airports share many of the same experiences – and challenges. Working together, he said, aviation leaders can enhance safety and security, customer service, environmental management and even future master plans.

“I can promise you that we will do our best in order to keep the cooperation and momentum between the airports,” Gen. Zakay said. “I would like to thank the mayor of Atlanta, Mr. Kasim Reed, the City Council of Atlanta and the Atlanta airport community for hosting us during this historic moment.”

He also said it’s time to resume direct flights between Atlanta and Tel Aviv, a sentiment echoed by Ambassador Judith Varnai Shorer, Consul General of Israel to the Southeastern United States.

Candace Byrd, chief of staff for Mayor Reed, said the region is particularly proud of its strong Israeli presence, which includes a number of Israeli-owned businesses that support more than 1,000 Georgians. Israel is also a key trading partner to Georgia — with a value of $182 million in 2015.

This is the third Memorandum of Understanding that ATL officials have signed with sister airports. In April, ATL leaders signed a similar agreement with officials from Romero International Airport in El Salvador. And in 2015, Airport leaders forged an agreement with Felix-Houphouet-Boigny International Airport in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

Andy Gobeil, ATL's deputy director of communications, emcees the MoU signing ceremony Tuesday at the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal. Dignitaries included, from left, Candace Byrd, chief of staff for Mayor Kasim Reed; Roosevelt Council Jr., interim airport general manager; Gen. Shmuel Zakay, TLV managing director; and Ambassador Judith Varnai Shorer, Consul General of Israel to the Southeastern United States. Photo by Shane Blatt

Andy Gobeil, ATL’s deputy director of communications, emcees the MoU signing ceremony Tuesday at the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal. Dignitaries included, from left, Candace Byrd, chief of staff for Mayor Kasim Reed; Roosevelt Council Jr., interim airport general manager; Gen. Shmuel Zakay, TLV managing director; and Ambassador Judith Varnai Shorer, Consul General of Israel to the Southeastern United States. Photo by Shane Blatt

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