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Paulding airport director resigns

Paulding airport director Blake Swafford, who has been leading the airport's efforts to attract airline flights as a second commercial airport in metro Atlanta, is resigning for another opportunity.

The Paulding County Airport Authority plans to search for a new airport manager.

Swafford, who guided the airport in its partnership with private developer Propeller Investments to commercialize the airport, said his decision to leave had little to do with the Paulding airport.

"I simply got a great opportunity that I couldn't pass up," Swafford said. He said he doesn't think his departure will affect the airport's efforts to commercialize -- adding that he expects that decision to be made in the courts, where numerous lawsuits challenge the commercialization.

Some residents of Paulding County have protested Swafford's efforts to commercialize the airport, elected four commissioners to the Paulding County Board of Commissioners that are against the commercialization and filed the lawsuits wending their way through the courts today.

Swafford said his decision to resign was "based on what is best for my family and my career long term." He said he "will still be rooting for the airport and Propeller to succeed, I'll just be doing it from a distance."

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Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.