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Economy Could Slow Progress on Terminal Construction
By Andy McDill

In November, Aviation General Manager Ben DeCosta announced the current economic crisis and frozen credit markets could impact the Airport's ability to continue progress on the Maynard H. Jackson, Jr. International Terminal (MHJIT).

"That is because we are unable to sell $600 million in municipal bonds," DeCosta said in a memo to Aviation employees. "Although our debt rating is a solid A+, which is considered investment grade, many investors are not willing to assume our debt at this time. If we do not get the financing we need, we may be forced to suspend the work in a matter of months."

DeCosta told the Atlanta Business Chronicle in an interview that the Airport currently has about $2.9 billion in municipal bond debt outstanding. Its projected revenue for fiscal year 2008/2009 is $402 million, DeCosta said. About 40 percent of the revenue comes from airlines.

While any suspension of work on the MHJIT would affect everyone involved in air transportation from Atlanta, DeCosta assured employees their jobs were not at risk. However, the disruption could affect up to 300 contractors.

"Despite the current situation, we will persevere and move forward with this important and historic project," he said. "The pace of construction will likely slow, and we are certain to face other challenges during this critical time. However, we will weather the storm and, in the end, the Maynard H. Jackson, Jr. International Terminal will stand as a testament to your dedication and determination."

Artist Rendering of Maynard H. Jackson, Jr. Internation Terminal

© 2008 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.


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