Atlanta does not appear ready for a secondary airport, based on information given to a citizens review group looking into adding passenger service to Briscoe Field.
But the relevancy of the data was questioned, since a proposal would create a small destination at the Lawrenceville field.
"It's going to be, what kind of demand you have in the area?" task force member Mary Jane Kelley Pollizzoto said of the main point of her presentation, which included information from a recent Hartsfield study that ruled out the Gwinnett County Airport as a potential reliever. "I don't know how much traffic you are going to pull away from the original airport."
Pollizzoto also reported analysis from Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Richard de Neufville, who said Atlanta's large amount of transfer traffic creates a unique situation with less than 15 million people originating or departing from the world's busiest airport.
"I'm still not sold that there is that kind of demand here," the group's chairman Tip Cape said.
But Jimmy Norton, a leader in the Fly Gwinnett Forward group interested in pursuing passenger service as an economic development tool, said he did not see the relevance of the report to the current situation.
Whereas the Hartsfield study called for two parallel 9,000-foot runways, Briscoe Field is half that size.
"There is plenty of airspace out there, and there are plenty of ways to make this work," Norton said.
While one company, Propeller Airports, has submitted a proposal to privatize the county airport, the proposal is currently being evaluated and has not been released to the public. The exact plans are not known.
Local resident Roy Rogers said he was disappointed the report did not give information on the area surrounding the secondary airports.
During a recent dinner with his wife on the rooftop at McCray's in downtown Lawrenceville, Rogers measured the decibel level of a jet taking off from the airport at 105 decibels.
"This will kill downtown Lawrenceville, no doubt in my mind it will," he said.
Leroy Garcia agreed. "I grew up near an airport and the quality of life sucked," he said. "I want to live a nice quiet life, when I'm away from work."
This article originally appeared in the Gwinnett Daily Post, March 27, 2012