Atlanta

City council votes on ordinance to discourage homeless people from loitering at Atlanta airport

ATLANTA — The Atlanta City Council voted to approve a plan to restrict access to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as complaints continue about a growing number of homeless people in the terminals.

There are already rules that restrict access from late at night through the early morning hours. But those restrictions could be extended around the clock.

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The Hennessey family had a two-hour flight ahead of them back home to Milwaukee on Monday. But some of what they’ve seen at the airports in Wisconsin and in Atlanta concerns them.

“I definitely think that there could be a possible danger. To them or my family or my kids,” Scott Hennessey told Channel 2′s Berndt Petersen.

There are rising complaints about people who are “unhoused”, sleeping in the terminal, asking for money, even harassing travelers.

The Atlanta City Council is determined to address those issues.

“Not only for the unhoused that is there but people at the airport who have no ‘business’ at the airport,” Atlanta City Councilman Byron Amos said.

Amos sponsored an ordinance that restricts who is allowed to come and go in the airport. Only those on official business are allowed.

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That includes ticketed travelers, employees, and those picking up and dropping off passengers.

Lucian Culver would prefer the city to help those who she says can’t help themselves. She isn’t bothered by someone who asks her for a few dollars.

“No. Not really,” she said. “It’s no different than being in a parking lot or somebody asks for a few dollars outside a restaurant.”

The new ordinance passed Monday night, but there’s no word yet on when the new rules would take effect.

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