“Memphis is preparing to spend several million dollars in development of Mud Island for aviation purposes and the plan is to make it one of the most modern and finest fields in the entire country. Birmingham, Savannah, Augusta, New Orleans, Jacksonville, Miami, and other southern cities also are constantly making improvements in aviation facilities. Atlanta must keep the pace or be left off important air lines and deprived of the most modern, fastest method of travel.
Members of city council and especially the finance committee of 1929 should seize the opportunity to make Candler field a municipally owned instead of a leased field. Atlanta’s place in development of aviation is well fixed and we should take all necessary steps to assure a continuation of her lead in the field.”
Editor's Note: William Hartsfield firmly believed Atlanta’s future lay in air transportation. As alderman, Hartsfield was instrumental in building Atlanta’s first airport and establishing Atlanta as an aviation center. In 1925, Hartsfield convinced city council to lease the Candler Speedway near Hapeville and construct Atlanta’s first landing field for airplanes.
The quote above comes from 1929, when Hartsfield urged the city council to purchase Candler field and invest in the site’s development. Both of Hartsfield’s measures passed and the city of Atlanta bought the landing field, paying $94,000 for all 297 acres. Hartsfield never stopped promoting the importance of air transportation in Atlanta and earned the title ‘the father of aviation.’ As mayor, Hartsfield ensured the city continued to develop and grow Candler field, laying the foundations for one of the largest airports in the world, the Hartsfield-Jackson International airport.