Atlanta Airport Retail Proposals Delayed

The Atlanta City Council on Monday delayed a decision on whether to expand two food-and-beverage concessions at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, sending the no-bid proposals back to committee for further study.

Airport Manager Ben DeCosta last week proposed the expansion of three concessions at the world's busiest airport. The Transportation Committee approved two of his proposals and held up a third.

Transportation Committee Chairwoman Clair Muller on Monday removed the two tentatively approved proposals from the full council agenda --- where their approval should have been routine --- and sent them back to her committee.

The move came after Councilman Lamar Willis and Councilwoman Felicia Moore last week raised a series of questions about the potentially lucrative expansions, which would be awarded to existing vendors without asking for competitive bids.

DeCosta said he will give the Transportation Committee an exhaustive briefing on the proposals when it meets in two weeks and will again push for approval.

"We'll explain, and they'll decide," he said.

DeCosta said the expansions will benefit passengers with better service and provide additional money to the city through increased rents to the vendors. He said studies show the airport has insufficient concessions for the 85 million passengers who pass through it each year.

The Transportation Committee last week tentatively approved an 1,881-square-foot expansion by Jackmont Hospitality and Global Concessions Inc. and a 952-square-foot expansion by Host NCM on Concourse E. However, the committee delayed action on a third proposal, a 902-square-foot expansion by Paschal's Concessions on concourses B and C.

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