Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will begin an expansion project on Concourse D, in the fall. The airport also plans to widen sections of its taxiways, and Runway 27R, to better accommodate the A380 aircraft, which can carry 500 passengers.
By M.J. Subiria Arauz
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is moving forward with two projects intended to enhance customer service and increase the airport's role as an economic engine, according to airport officials.
They include a major renovation on Concourse D, and the widening of sections the airfield, according to Albert Snedeker, a spokesman for the airport.
On Monday, the Atlanta City Council awarded a contract for the renovation work to Holder, Moody and Bryson, a joint venture, said Snedeker. "The goals of the project are to improve passenger flow; to enhance access to The Plane Train and the Transportation Mall; and to add restaurant and retail options on Concourse D," he said.
It is anticipated that the work will begin this fall, and will be conducted in phases to limit the impact on passengers, he said. Work should be completed in the spring of 2014, Snedeker said.
He said the project will add nearly 60,000 square feet across four levels of the concourse. The additions include:
* Two new escalators between the Transportation Mall and the concourse's main level;
* Three elevators that will connect the second, and third levels;
* The expansion of many of the existing concessions at the centerpoint, plus the addition of new shops for food, beverage and mixed-retail outlets.
"This expansion project will dramatically improve the overall experience for thousands of passengers traveling through Concourse D every day," said Louis Miller, aviation general manager at Hartsfield-Jackson. "These types of projects are key to bolstering our reputation for top-notch customer service."
The Atlanta City Council also approved, on Monday, a legislative order for architectural and engineering services to widen sections of Hartsfield-Jackson's taxiways, and Runway 27R, said Snedeker. The change will allow the airport to readily accommodate A380 aircraft, a double-decker airbus that is able to fly more than 500 passengers.
Some of the airport's midfield taxiways will be widened from 145 feet, to 162 feet, he said. Runway 27R will be widened from 220 feet, to 250 feet.
Once the work is complete, the airport's airfield will meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements for handling A380 operations, he said.
"The four-engine A380 could land and take off, today, at Hartsfield-Jackson, but its outboard engines would extend beyond paved taxiway and runway surfaces," said Snedeker.
"This would require manual inspections of the airfield for foreign object debris before, and after, each A380 operation."
Miller added that enhancing the airport's infrastructure to handle the A380 fortifies the airport's position as an economic engine, and aids in securing Atlanta as a "world-class city and gateway" to the U.S.