December 12 2017  |  Airlines & Airports

Concession contracts up for rebidding at Atlanta International Airport

By Ronnie Lovler

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has put some of its concession contracts out for rebidding because of too many snags in the first go-around.

Up for grabs are locations for 80 new shops around the airport to be split up among ten contracts. The Atlanta airport has been expanding visibly in recent months.

But according to local news reports, only 29 companies submitted bids and more than half were disqualified because certain requirements were not fulfilled.

Airport officials had hoped to award the contracts before the end of this year under the administration of current Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. But that won’t be happening now.

Hartsfield-Jackson General Manager Roosevelt Council said six of the ten contracts would be awarded this year, according to a story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. But the others won’t be happening until least at 2018, under a new mayoral administration.

The city put out a request for proposals on July 20 with submissions due two months later on September 27. Some packages required detailed proposals for as many as 21 different locations within the airport.

Concessionaires say the process of bidding is costly and time-consuming, possibly one reason only a limited number of companies participated and so many of the bids failed to meet all requirements.

Local media also reported that at the time, some concessionaires were worried that the time frame to put their bids together was too short. They were also concerned about the political changes with a new mayor that could impact airport contracts.

There was a similar snag in 2011 because of limited competition when the city received 99 bids for airport restaurant contracts, but had to disqualify 41 bids because of errors. This compelled the city to restart the process.

As the world’s busiest airport, a concession at the Atlanta airport can be quite lucrative.

The current concession contracts at Hartsfield-Jackson don’t expire until September 2018.

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