The Associated Press August 31, 2010, 6:51PM ET

Airlines will pay $30M extra to Atlanta airport

The city of Atlanta said on Tuesday that airlines including Delta and AirTran have agreed to make $30 million in extra lease payments to keep construction moving on a new international terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The city said the deal, announced by Mayor Kasim Reed and Delta Air Lines Inc. CEO Richard Anderson, would get the work done by 2012.

The payments aren't a loan. But the city-run airport could end up paying the airlines anywhere from zero to $30 million depending on the airport's debt levels from 2015 to 2017.

Delta and AirTran Airways, a unit of AirTran Holdings Inc., will pay most of the money. Those two airlines account for most of the airport's traffic.

The airport is trying to sell bonds to finish the $1.4 billion project. Airport officials have already raised parking fees and increased taxi charges to bring in more revenue.

Also Tuesday, AirTran said it had signed a new seven-year lease at the airport. A deal for the lease was first announced last month.


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