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  • Layover in Atlanta: The Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

    On any given day at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, more than 2,200 flights take off and land, traveling to 150 destinations in the United States, and 30 cities in 17 countries around the world. University of Georgia economist Charles Floyd notes that most people are passing through Atlanta are on their way to somewhere else. Angela Gittens, aviation general manager at Hartsfield-Jackson, observes that the transportation of people and goods is the essence of commerce.

    Support Materials

    Discuss

    1. What effect does the airport (10 miles from Atlanta) have on the economy of Atlanta?

    2. Atlanta was once the transportation hub of the South because of the railroad. The airplane has taken the place of the railroad. Set up a debate in which one-half of the class takes the position that the airplane has had more of an impact on Atlanta than the railroad. The other half of the class takes the opposite view. Develop arguments based on facts and figures and their history in the state (and southeastern U.S.).

    Expansion

    1. Write a paragraph using information from this Georgia Story describing the impact of the Atlanta airport on Georgia’s economy.

    Vocabulary

    multiplier effect: an economic effect in a region in which an increase in spending causes an increase in that region’s income and consumption greater than the initial amount spent
    revenue: income; the amount of money regularly coming in
    cargo: something that is carried from one place to another by boat, airplane, etc.
    layover: a period of time when you are not traveling in the middle of a journey

    For Teachers

    Discussion Guide

    1. What effect does the airport (10 miles from Atlanta) have on the economy of Atlanta?
    People who work at the airport usually live in and around the city. They spend their money there. When people fly in and out of the city, they stay in hotels, eat in restaurants, shop in stores, attend concerts, sporting events, and other forms of entertainment all of which brings money into the city.

    2. Atlanta was once the transportation hub of the South because of the railroad. The airplane has taken the place of the railroad. Set up a debate in which one-half of the class takes the position that the airplane has had more of an impact on Atlanta than the railroad. The other half of the class takes the opposite view. Develop arguments based on facts and figures and their history in the state (and southeastern U.S.).
    Teachers should allow time for research and formulation of arguments/issues. The railroad had a decidedly major impact on the initial growth of Atlanta into the business and transportation center of the state. They are still needed to move goods and services between cities and towns where there are no airports. They are an integral part of the overall transportation system of the nation. In addition, railroad tracks do not require as large a tract of land in most places as does an airport. The overall operating cost would be commensurate with this. Airplanes/airports – especially Hartsfield-Jackson International – are also one of the major reasons why Atlanta has stayed as the hub city (or a major hub) for many airlines, especially Delta. (It is said that if you want to go to heaven, you’ll have to go through Atlanta.) To do business in our world, air travel is essential. It is also an economic necessity for moving goods and services from one place to another within this global economy. More people are employed in the airline industry than the railroad industry. Find the current monetary contribution of each industry and how much they contribute to the state and nation’s economy; number of people who work in each; technology needed in order to operate safely; salary comparisons: engineer vs. pilot, etc.

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