Minority Businesses Take Flight on Fifth Runway Project
By Charisma Cannon
With the construction of the Fifth Runway – “The Most
Important Runway in America” – many contractors have
enhanced their reputations and reaped the financial benefits. Among
them are the minority-owned businesses that have built up their
small construction and engineering firms as a result of their participation
in the creation of Hartsfield-Jackson’s Fifth Runway.
In 1972, then-Mayor Maynard Jackson developed a program during the
first Airport expansion that called for the participation of at
least 34 percent female/minority owned businesses on the project.
Today, under the Hartsfield-Jackson Supplier Diversity Program,
born from the $6.2 billion Hartsfield-Jackson Development Program,
the Airport still holds strong to the tradition Mayor Jackson started
by monitoring and reporting on minority participation, and the amount
of construction dollars spent with them as subcontractors.
Joe Jackson, director of Hartsfield-Jackson’s Supplier Diversity
Program, is proud of the standards the Airport has maintained. “We
are extremely proud of the diverse make-up of companies we’ve
had in the construction of the Fifth Runway,” Jackson said.
“The construction of this runway is history-making in so many
ways, and many minority companies will be able to say they played
a major role in its development.”
More than $170 million has already been spent with female and minority
businesses on the various sub-elements associated with the construction
of Hartsfield-Jackson’s fifth runway. Those sub-elements include
the runway’s fire station, the Federal Aviation Administration’s
new air traffic control tower, trunk drainage system and the relocation
of Sullivan and Riverdale roads.
Hartsfield-Jackson’s Supplier Diversity Program was developed
in part to comply with a federal mandate that requires the participation
of 20-29 percent minority businesses when a construction project
involves federal dollars, but also because diversity in the construction
of the Fifth Runway represents the diverse number of passengers
the runway will transport through Atlanta. The runway will bring
millions more international passengers to Atlanta, as well as tons
of cargo from around the world; destined for other parts of the
country. Hartsfield-Jackson’s General Manager, Ben DeCosta,
recognizes that diversity. “Our country is growing more diverse
every day,” said DeCosta. “Hartsfield-Jackson has an
obligation to ensure that the diversity of this country is reflected
in those companies we do business with.”
For more information on the Hartsfield-Jackson Supplier Diversity
Program and Hartsfield-Jackson’s Development Program, visit
© 2006 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson
Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.