Interview with Walter Huntley
QUESTION 5
JACKIE SHEARER:

OK, so I'd like you to set up what this project of the airport was about and what the expectations were on it.

WALTER HUNTLEY:

OK. The airport was one of the major, the Construction of a new airport for the city of Atlanta, ah, was one of the major projects if not the major project in the Jackson administration. There were a number of big construction projects between 1976 and 1979, ah, or '80. But this was the crown jewel**. And, ah, the reason was because the airport plays such a major, ah, role in Atlanta's overall economy. We have the, ah, one of the busiest airports in the world, and we did at that time. And this was going to be the largest public construction project, ah, that had ever been undertaken by the city. And ah, in fact, after it was built, it would be the largest airport in the world. Ah, and, ah, the magnitude of it was such that it was just very difficult to comprehend. It was about, ah, 750 million dollar project. And, ah, the anxiety, the anticipation was high. There were the airlines, the elected officials, ah, the private sector, ah, the federal government was involved, and, ah, it was, ah, it was something that everyone knew that we had to do, and there was a lot riding on it. It had to be done right. And when Maynard indicated that he was going to make sure that Blacks participate in every, ah, element of the, ah, process from the standpoint of construction, ah, architectural services, legal services, the whole gamut, ah, that's when basically the, ah, I guess you would say, the, the whole issue came under tremendous scrutiny, the cost of the magnitude.