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Atlanta’s interim airport general manager will be Balram Bheodari

An aerial photo of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (Special: Wikipedia)

By Maria Saporta

Balram “B” Bheodari has been named interim general manager of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport – again.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms named Bheodari to the post Thursday afternoon – just two days before John Selden, the current general manager, will depart to become CEO of the Neom airport development company in Saudi Arabia.

The mayor cited Bheodari’s 30-year record in the aviation industry when making the announcement.

Balram Bheodari, deputy airport general manager was named interim general manager on April 1 (Special: Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport)

“B has decades of aviation experience and he knows the Atlanta airport,” Bottoms said in a statement. “I am confident that with his operations expertise, he will keep Hartsfield-Jackson running smoothly as we recover from this global pandemic.”

Prior to his appointment, Bheodari was deputy general manager at the airport. In that role, he oversaw public safety and security; operations; maintenance and transportation; planning and development; and sustainability, asset management, and facilities.

“I am honored to have the confidence of Mayor Bottoms,” Bheodari said Thursday. “This is an incredibly important time for Hartsfield-Jackson and the entire aviation industry.  I look forward to continuing our tradition of excellence in safety, efficiency, and economic development for the city and region.”

Bheodari began his career at the Atlanta airport in 1999.  He led the effort to open the airport’s new consolidated rental car center in 2009, and in 2012 he coordinated the opening of the new Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal.

An aerial photo of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (Special: Wikipedia)

Bheodari also served as the chief operating officer for the Houston Airport System before returning to Atlanta in 2016. Bheodari became interim general manager in July 2018 and served in that role until Selden became the aviation commissioner in October 2018.

“B is a consummate professional,” Selden said Thursday in a statement. “It was a pleasure working with him, and I can think of no better choice to serve in this role.  Hartsfield-Jackson will be well-served by his appointment.”

Bheodari is a veteran of the United States Army. He graduated from Troy University with a Bachelor of Science in aviation management and completed the Emory University Executive Education Management Development Program. He retired from the Army with 22 years of active military service in the aviation branch as an instrument-rated rotary wing pilot.

Bottoms did not include any information about if and when the city will conduct a search for a permanent replacement. Because it’s a mayoral election year, it may be difficult to lure an airline executive to Atlanta – especially without a contract.

 

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Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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