Airport terminal still set for take off

March 12, 2012 by  

Controversy over the awarding of restaurant and bar contracts for Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport threaten to delay the opening of the airport’s recently completed international terminal. City officials are more optimistic, however.

“At this point, there is no change in our plan to open the international terminal in May. Based on the current status, we are still planning on a mid-May date,”

says Duriya Farooqui, chief operating officer for the city.

Such optimism exists despite the fact that a Fulton County judge granted companies whose proposals were not approved extra time to file official complaints. This is likely due to the fact that the city’s attorneys are not prohibited from negotiating with contract winners. City representatives can sign contracts on the new concession deals as long as the plaintiffs appealing the awards receive 24 hours notice. As a result, no delay will be incurred if the appeals of the denied companies are unsuccessful.

City officials have been reviewing over 250,000 emails to ensure that contracts were not awarded based on favoritism or corruption. So far, four companies have filed formal protests with the city. During this process, Atlanta’s chief procurement officer, Adam Smith, reviews the case and makes a decision on the validity of petitioner claims. All three of the appeals Smith considered by Smith at this point have been denied. The companies have the option of appealing to a hearing officer or suing if they are not satisfied with the outcome.

No matter the final results, metro Atlanta print companies in areas like Roswell will be needed for banner printing, menu printing and other informational printing needs when the terminal restaurants and bars do open.