Senate backs state takeover of Atlanta airport

A plan for the state to take over control of Atlanta's airport has passed the Georgia Senate, despite vociferous opposition from Atlanta officials.

The legislation, introduced by Republican state Sen. Burt Jones of Jackson, would create the Georgia Major Airport Authority, a board appointed by state officials to oversee operations at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The airport is currently owned and operated by the city.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has come out strongly against the proposal, calling it "theft" from the people of Atlanta.

Jones said state control is needed because of corruption issues in the procurement process. Critics of the plan say those issues involved past administrations and that Bottoms, who assumed office last year, has taken steps to reform the process.

The bill will now go to the House for consideration.