|Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport|
|IATA: ATL – ICAO: KATL – FAA LID: ATL|
|Owner||City of Atlanta|
|Operator||Department of Aviation|
|Location||unincorporated areas, Atlanta, College Park, and Hapeville
Fulton & Clayton Counties
|Focus city for||Southwest Airlines|
|Elevation AMSL||1,026 ft / 313 m|
FAA airport diagram
Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (IATA: ATL, ICAO: KATL, FAA LID: ATL), known locally as Atlanta Airport, Hartsfield, and Hartsfield–Jackson, is located seven miles (11 km) south of the central business district of Atlanta, Georgia, United States. It has been the world's busiest airport by passenger traffic since 1998, and by number of landings and take-offs since 2005. Hartsfield–Jackson held its ranking as the world's busiest airport in 2011, both in passengers and number of flights, by accommodating 92 million passengers (252,000 passengers daily) and 923,991 flights. Many of the nearly one million flights are domestic flights from within the United States, where Atlanta serves as a major hub for travel throughout the Southeastern United States. The airport has 207 domestic and international gates.
Hartsfield–Jackson International Airport is a focus city for Southwest Airlines and is the primary hub of Delta Air Lines and Delta Connection partner ExpressJet; At nearly 1,000 flights a day, the Delta hub is the world's largest airline hub. Delta Air Lines flew 59.01% of passengers from the airport in February 2011, AirTran flew 17.76%, and ExpressJet flew 13.86%. The airport has international service to North America, South America, Central America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. As an international gateway to the United States, Hartsfield–Jackson ranks seventh.
The airport is located mostly in unincorporated areas in Fulton and Clayton counties; the city limits of Atlanta, College Park, and Hapeville extend to the airport grounds. The airport's domestic terminal is served by MARTA's Red/Gold rail line.
Hartsfield–Jackson had its beginnings with a five-year, rent-free lease on 287 acres (116 ha) that was the home of an abandoned auto racetrack named The Atlanta Speedway. The lease was signed on April 16, 1925, by Mayor Walter Sims, who committed the city to develop it into an airfield. As part of the agreement, the property was renamed Candler Field after its former owner, Coca-Cola tycoon and former Atlanta mayor Asa Candler. The first flight into Candler Field was on September 15, 1926, a Florida Airways mail plane flying from Jacksonville, Florida. In May 1928, Pitcairn Aviation began service to Atlanta, followed in June 1930 by Delta Air Service. Later these two airlines, known as Eastern Air Lines and Delta Air Lines, respectively, would both use Atlanta as their chief hubs.
It was a busy airport from its inception and by the end of 1930 it was third behind New York City and Chicago for regular daily flights with sixteen arriving and departing. (In May 1931 Atlanta had four scheduled departures.) Candler Field's first control tower opened March 1939. The March 1939 Official Aviation Guide shows fourteen weekday airline departures: ten Eastern and four Delta.
In October 1940 the U.S. government declared it a military airfield and the United States Army Air Forces operated Atlanta Army Airfield jointly with Candler Field. The Air Force used the airport primarily for servicing of transient aircraft, with many types of combat aircraft being maintained at the airport. During World War II the airport doubled in size and set a record of 1,700 takeoffs and landings in a single day, making it the nation's busiest airport in terms of flight operation. Atlanta Army Airfield closed after the war.
In 1946 Candler Field was renamed Atlanta Municipal Airport and by 1948, more than one million passengers passed through a war surplus hangar that served as a terminal building. Delta and Eastern had extensive networks from ATL, though Atlanta had no nonstop flights beyond Texas, St Louis and Chicago until 1961. Southern Airways established itself at ATL after the war and had short-haul routes around the Southeast until 1979.
On June 1, 1956 an Eastern flight to Montreal, Canada was the first international flight out of Atlanta. Atlanta's first scheduled international flight was the Delta/Pan Am interchange DC-8 to Europe starting in 1964; the first scheduled nonstop to a foreign country was Eastern's flight to Mexico City around 1972. Nonstops to Europe started in 1978 and to Asia in 1992-93.
In 1957 Atlanta saw its first jet airliner: a prototype Sud Aviation Caravelle that was touring the country arrived from Washington D.C. The first scheduled turbine airliners were Capital Viscounts in June 1956; the first scheduled jets were Delta DC-8s in September 1959.
Atlanta says ATL was the busiest airport in the country with more than two million passengers passing through in 1957 and, between noon and 2 p.m. each day, it became the busiest airport in the world. (The April 1957 OAG shows 165 weekday departures from Atlanta, including 45 between 12:05 and 2:00 PM (and 20 between 2:25 and 4:25 AM). Chicago Midway had 414 weekday departures, including 48 between 12:00 and 2:00 PM. For the year 1957 Atlanta was the ninth busiest airline airport in the country by flight count and about the same by passenger count.)
That year work began on a new terminal; on May 3, 1961, the new $21 million terminal opened. It was the largest in the country and could handle over six million travelers a year; the first year nine and half million people passed through. In March 1962 the longest runway (9/27, now 8R) was 7860 ft; runway 3 was 5505 ft and runway 15 was 7220 ft.
In 1967 the city and the airlines began work on a plan for development of Atlanta Municipal Airport. Construction began on the present midfield terminal in January 1977 under the administration of Mayor Maynard Jackson. It was the largest construction project in the South, costing $500 million. The complex was designed by Stevens & Wilkinson, Smith Hinchman & Grylls, and Minority Airport Architects & Planners. Named for former Atlanta mayor William Berry Hartsfield, who did much to promote air travel, William B. Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport opened on September 21, 1980, on-time and under budget. It was designed to accommodate up to 55 million passengers per year and covered 2.5 million square feet (230,000 m²). In December 1984 a 9,000-foot (2,700 m) fourth parallel runway was completed, and another runway was extended to 11,889 feet (3,624 m) the following year.
Although Eastern was a larger airline than Delta until airline deregulation in 1978, Delta was an early adopter of the hub and spoke route system, with Atlanta as its primary hub between the Midwest and Florida, giving it an advantage in the Atlanta market. Eastern ceased operations in 1991 due to labor issues and competition throughout the Eastern seaboard, leaving Delta with the only major airline hub in Atlanta. American Airlines considered establishing an Atlanta hub around the time of Eastern's demise, but determined that Delta was already too strong there, and that the competitive environment was more favorable at Eastern's other hub in Miami.
ValuJet was established in 1993 as low-cost competition for Delta at ATL following Eastern's demise. Its safety practices were called into question early in its life, and the airline was grounded after the 1996 crash of ValuJet Flight 592. It resumed operations in 1997 as AirTran Airways and remains the second-largest airline at ATL today. AirTran was acquired by Southwest Airlines in 2011 and Southwest plans to integrate its operations with AirTran in the future.
In May 2001 construction of a 9,000-foot (2,700 m) fifth runway (10–28) began. It was completed at a cost of $1.28 billion and opened on May 27, 2006, and was the first runway added since 1984. It bridges Interstate 285 (the Perimeter) on the south side of the airport, making Hartsfield-Jackson the only civil airport in the nation to have a runway above an interstate (although Runway 17R/35L at Stapleton International Airport in Denver crossed Interstate 70 until that airport was closed in 1995) . The massive project, which involved putting fill dirt eleven-stories high in some places, destroyed some surrounding neighborhoods, and dramatically changed the scenery of two cemeteries on the property, Flat Rock Cemetery and Hart Cemetery. It was added to help ease some of the traffic problems caused by landing small- and mid-size aircraft on the longer runways which are also used by larger planes such as the Boeing 777, which need longer runways than the smaller planes. With the fifth runway, Hartsfield–Jackson is one of only a few airports that can perform triple simultaneous landings. The fifth runway is expected to increase the capacity for landings and take-offs by 40%, from an average of 184 flights per hour to 237 flights per hour.
Along with the construction of the fifth runway, a new control tower was built to see the entire length of the runway. The new control tower is the tallest in the United States, with a height of over 398 feet (121 m). The old control tower, 585 feet (178 m) away from the new control tower, was demolished August 5, 2006.
Atlanta City Council voted on October 20, 2003 to change the name from Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport to the current Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, in honor of former mayor Maynard Jackson, who died on June 23, 2003. The council initially planned on renaming the airport solely for Mayor Jackson, but public outcry, especially by Mayor Hartsfield's descendants, prompted the compromise.
In April 2007 an "end-around taxiway" opened, Taxiway Victor. It is expected to save an estimated $26 million to $30 million in fuel each year by allowing airplanes landing on the northernmost runway to taxi to the gate area without preventing other aircraft from taking off. The taxiway drops about 30 feet (9.1 m) from runway elevation to allow takeoffs to continue.
After the Southeastern U.S. drought of 2007, the airport (the eighth-largest water user in the state) has made changes to reduce water usage. This includes adjusting toilets, of which there are 725 commodes and 338 urinals, in addition to 601 sinks. (The two terminals alone use 917,000 gallons or about 3.5 million liters each day on average.) It also suspended the practice of using firetrucks to spray water over aircraft when the pilot made a last landing before retirement (a water salute). The city of Macon offered to sell water to the airport, through a proposed pipeline. Many of the new high-efficiency toilets and faucets installed at the airport were made by TOTO, a Japanese company known for water conservation with two local plants in the Atlanta suburb of Morrow.
The airport today employs about 55,300 airline, ground transportation, concessionaire, security, federal government, City of Atlanta and Airport tenant employees and is the largest employment center in the U.S. state of Georgia. With a payroll of $2.4 billion, the airport has a direct and indirect economic impact of $3.2 billion on the local and regional economy and a total annual, regional economic impact of more than $19.8 billion.
Expansion and renovations 
In 1999, Hartsfield–Jackson's leadership established the Development Program: "Focus On the Future" involving multiple construction projects with the intention of preparing the airport to handle a projected demand of 121 million passengers in 2015. The program was originally budgeted at $5.4 billion over a ten-year period, but due to project delays and increased construction costs, the total is now projected at over $9 billion.
Hartsfield–Jackson Rental Car Center 
The Hartsfield–Jackson Rental Car Center, which opened on December 8, 2009, houses all ten current airport rental agencies with capacity for additional companies. The complex features 9,900 parking spaces split up between two four-story parking decks that together cover 2,800,000 square feet (260,000 m2), a 137,000-square-foot (12,700 m2) customer service center, and a maintenance center for vehicles, which features 140 gas pumps,and 30 bays for washing with each one equipped with a water recovery system. The automated people mover, nicknamed the ATL Skytrain, (using Mitsubishi Crystal Mover equipment) connects the facility to the airport and to the Gateway Center of the Georgia International Convention Center and the Hartsfield–Jackson Rental Car Center. A four-lane roadway was built across Interstate 85 to connect the Hartsfield–Jackson Rental Car Center to the existing airport road network.
Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal 
In July 2003, former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin announced a new terminal to be named for Maynard H. Jackson, Jr.. The new international terminal would be built on the east side of the airport near International Concourse E, on a site that had been occupied by air cargo facilities and the midfield control tower. It has added twelve new gates able to hold wide-body jets, which can be converted to sixteen narrow-body gates, as well as new check-in desks and a baggage claim area solely for international carriers. Additionally, the international terminal has its own parking lot just for international passengers with over 1,100 spaces. Arriving international passengers whose final destination is Atlanta are able to keep possession of their luggage as they proceed to exit the airport. The new terminal is connected to Concourse E by the tram and also has ground transportation access via I-75. The new terminal was slated to open in 2006; however, time and cost overruns led former Airport General Manager Ben DeCosta to cancel the design contract in August 2005. The next day, the architect sued the airport claiming "fraud" and "bad faith", blaming the airport authority for the problems. In early 2007, the General Manager awarded a new design contract on the new international terminal to Atlanta Gateway Designers (AGD). Construction began in the summer of 2008. Estimates place the terminal's cost at $1.4 billion, and it opened on May 16, 2012. The first departure was Delta Flight #295 to Tokyo-Narita, with the first arrival being Delta Flight #177 from Dublin.
Accommodating the A380 
In addition to the terminal that will expand international operations at the airport, sections of some midfield taxiways will be widened from 145 feet (44.2 m) to 162 feet (49.4 m), and a section of Runway 27R will be widened from 220 feet (67.1 m) to 250 feet (76.2m) in order to accommodate the Airbus A380 operations at the airport. Air France is considering whether they will commence A380 service from Atlanta once these sections of the taxiway and runway are completed, and Korean Air will begin daily service from Atlanta to Seoul on August 2, 2013. Additionally, two adjacent gates on Concourse E, Gates E1 and E3, will be fitted to allow lower-level boarding from one gate, and upper-level boarding from the other, allowing for quick boarding and the facilitation of passengers to other connecting flights around the airport.
Modernization of Concourse D 
On June 6, 2011, Atlanta City Council awarded a contract to the joint venture of Holder/Moody/Bryson to renovate and expand Concourse D. There will be 60,000 square feet (5,600 m2) of space added, two new escalators between the main level and the Transportation Mall, three new elevators between the second and third levels, and there will be both expanded and new food, beverage and retail outlets. The project budget is not to exceed $37 million and it is set for completion by spring 2014.
Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport has a terminal and concourse space totaling 6,800,000-square-foot (630,000 m2). The airport has two terminals where passengers check-in and claim bags, the Domestic Terminal and the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal. The Domestic Terminal is on the west side of the airport, and has facilities on both sides which are known as Terminal North and Terminal South. The portion of the building between Terminal North and Terminal South includes the Atrium, which is a large, open seating area featuring concessionaires, a bank, conference rooms, an interfaith chapel, and offices on the upper floors with the main security checkpoint, the Ground Transportation Center and a Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) train station on other levels. The Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal is located on the east side of the airport, and includes check-in, baggage claim, and Customs and Immigration services for international passengers.
Seven parallel concourse buildings are used for passenger boarding. The first concourse is connected to the Domestic Terminal, and is known as Concourse T (for Terminal). The remaining six concourses are designated successively by distance from the terminal as Concourses A, B, C, D, E, and F. Concourse T, and Concourses A-D are used for domestic flights, while Concourses E and F are used for international flights. Concourse F is directly connected to the International Terminal, which includes Customs and Immigration services. Concourse E has a designated walkway to the international terminal, and also has its own Federal Inspection station for connecting passengers. Concourse F and the International Terminal opened in 2012. Concourse E opened in 1994 for international flights in time for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, which were held in Atlanta. Prior to the opening of Concourse E, the north side of Concourse T was used for international flights.
The concourses are connected by an underground Transportation Mall, which begins at the main terminal and passes under the center of each concourse. At one time, there was a second underground walkway between Concourses B and C which connected the north end of the two concourses and made it possible to transfer without returning to the center of the concourse. This was constructed for Eastern Airlines, who occupied these two terminals. This is now closed and the entrance at Concourse B has been replaced by a bank of arrival/departure monitors.
The Plane Train 
In addition to a pedestrian walkway, which includes a series of moving walkways, connecting the concourses, the Transportation Mall also features an automated people mover called the Plane Train. The Plane Train has a station at the east end of the domestic terminal for passengers who have cleared security screening at that terminal and are entering the Transportation Mall. This station also serves as the station for Concourse T. Other stations are located at each of the six other concourses, including concourse F which is connected to the international terminal. An eighth station is located in the Baggage Claim area, directly under the Main Terminal. Only hand luggage may be carried on the people mover which is the world's busiest automated system, with over 64 million riders in 2002.
The Plane Train was given its name on August 10, 2010. Previously the automated people mover had not been given an official name.
MARTA Station 
Hartsfield–Jackson also has its own train station on the city's rapid transit system, MARTA. The above-ground station is inside in the main building, between the north and south terminals on the west end. The Airport train station is currently the southernmost station in the MARTA system.
Restaurant contracts 
Restaurant contracts at the airport are worth about $3 billion, and complaints over the contracts fit into a historical pattern of allegations of "cronyism and political influence" at the airport. Concession company SSP America sued the City of Atlanta to challenge the methods used to award contracts, but this suit was dropped in 2012. Contracts are awarded on a preferential basis if a business qualifies as an "airport concessions disadvantaged business enterprise". The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) challenged the disadvantaged business status of four businesses—Mack II's, Hojeij Branded Foods, Atlanta Restaurant Partners, and Vida Concessions—though a review by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) in 2012 concluded after a review that the evidence did not support decertifying the businesses, and the FAA said it will review the GDOT documents before possibly appealing to the U.S. Department of Transportation. An internal GDOT audit found calculation errors in 27 of 40 cases it reviewed for disadvantaged status.
The seven concourses and their gates are:
- Concourse T – 14 gates (T1–T5, T7–T15)
- Concourse A – 29 gates (A1-A7, A9-A12, A15-A21, A24–A34)
- Concourse B – 32 gates (B1–B7, B9-B14, B16-B29, B31-B34, B36)
- Concourse C – 48 gates (C1–C22, C30–C53, C55, C57)
- Concourse D – 43 gates (D1, D1A, D2–D8, D8A, D9–D11, D11A, D12–D16, D21–D42, D44, D46)
- Concourse E – 28 gates (E1–E12, E14–E18, E26–E36)
- Concourse F – 12 gates (F1–F10, F12, F14)
- Note: All international arrivals (except flights with customs pre-clearance) are handled at Concourses E and F.
Domestic terminal 
The domestic terminal is divided into two sides for ticketing, check-in, and baggage claim: Terminal South and Terminal North. Delta Air Lines and most of its partners are located on Terminal South while most other airlines are located on Terminal North. Most domestic flights arrive and depart from within concourses T, A, B, C or D. Some domestic flights depart from concourses E & F, such as when gates at T or A–D are not available, or when an aircraft arrives as an international flight and continues as a domestic flight.
Maynard Holbrook Jackson Jr. International Terminal 
All international flights arrive and depart from the international terminal, either concourse E or F. Concourse F and the new international terminal opened May 16, 2012 while concourse E previously existed with the original terminal. International pre-cleared flights can arrive at concourses T & A–D. International flights can also depart from concourses T & A–D, such as when space is unavailable at concourses E–F or when an aircraft arrives as a domestic flight but continues as an international flight. Furthermore, all international pre-cleared flights, regardless of origin, will collect their baggage at the international terminal.
Airlines and destinations 
Cargo airlines 
List of Cargo Carriers serving Atlanta:
- Air China Cargo
- Air France Cargo
- Air New Zealand Cargo
- Asiana Cargo
- British Airways World Cargo/Global Supply Systems
- Cathay Pacific Cargo
- China Airlines Cargo
- China Cargo Airlines
- Czech Airlines
- DHL Aviation/Atlas Air
- Emirates SkyCargo
- EVA Air Cargo
- FedEx Express
- Iberia Cargo
- Korean Air Cargo
- Lufthansa Cargo
- Nippon Cargo Airlines
- Qantas Freight
- Qatar Airways Cargo
- Singapore Airlines Cargo
- UPS Airlines
Traffic and statistics 
|1||Orlando, FL||1,302,000||AirTran, Delta, Southwest|
|2||Fort Lauderdale, FL||1,178,000||AirTran, Delta, Spirit|
|3||New York (LaGuardia), NY||1,147,000||AirTran, American, Delta|
|4||Tampa, FL||943,000||AirTran, Delta|
|5||Dallas/Fort Worth, TX||941,000||American, Delta, Spirit|
|6||Los Angeles, CA||894,000||AirTran, Delta, Southwest|
|7||Washington (National), D.C.||845,000||AirTran, Delta|
|8||Philadelphia, PA||834,000||AirTran, Delta, US Airways|
|9||Charlotte, NC||833,000||AirTran, Delta, US Airways|
|10||Baltimore, MD||761,000||AirTran, Delta, Southwest|
|1||Cancún, Mexico||619,967||AirTran, Delta|
|2||Paris (Charles de Gaulle), France||511,010||Air France, Delta|
|3||Amsterdam, Netherlands||459,013||Delta, KLM|
|4||Montego Bay, Jamaica||392,349||AirTran, Delta|
|5||Toronto (Pearson), Canada||346,554||Air Canada, Delta|
|6||London (Heathrow), United Kingdom||319,558||British Airways, Delta|
|7||Nassau, Bahamas||317,642||AirTran, Delta|
|8||Mexico City, Mexico||319,019||Delta|
|9||Frankfurt, Germany||283,236||Delta, Lufthansa|
|10||Seoul (Incheon), Korea||256,086||Korean Air|
|Passengers||Change from previous year||Aircraft operations||Cargo
|Source: Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport |
Other facilities 
The 990 Toffie Terrace hangar, a part of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, and located the City of College Park corporate limits, is owned by the City of Atlanta. The building now houses the Atlanta Police Department Helicopter Unit. It once served as the headquarters of the regional airline ExpressJet.
Before the merger, Atlantic Southeast Airlines headquartered in the hangar, then named the A-Tech Center. In December 2007 the airline announced it was moving its headquarters into the facility, previously named the "North Hangar." The 203,000-square-foot (18,900 m2) hangar includes 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) of hangar bays for aircraft maintenance. It has 17 acres (6.9 ha) of adjacent land and 1,400 parking spaces for employees. The airline planned to relocate 100 employees from Macon, Georgia to the new headquarters. The Atlanta City Council and Mayor of Atlanta Shirley Franklin approved of the new 25-year ASA lease, which also gave the airline new hangar space to work on 15 to 25 aircraft in overnight maintenance; previously its aircraft were serviced at Concourse C. The airport property division stated that the hangar was built in the 1960s and renovated in the 1970s. Eastern Airlines and Delta Air Lines had previously occupied the hangar. Delta's lease originally was scheduled to expire in 2010, but the airline returned the lease to the City of Atlanta in 2005 as part of its bankruptcy settlement. The city collected an insurance settlement of almost $900,000 as a result of the cancellation.
As the dominant airport in the Southern United States, and the nation's busiest in terms of passengers handled (mainly due to being Delta's flagship hub), there is an old joke in the South which states that, upon one's death, regardless of whether one goes to Heaven or Hell one will connect in Atlanta to get there.
Scenes from the movies Due Date and Life as We Know It were filmed and had scenes take place on location at Hartsfield Airport in 2010, including the 2006 film Unaccompanied Minors and Cabin Fever.
Other notes 
Air traffic controllers for tower and ground control operations refer to the letter "D" using the word "Dixie" instead of the ICAO phonetic term "Delta" to avoid confusion with Delta Air Lines aircraft (note the use of "DIXIE" for taxiway "D" in the FAA's airport diagram 2007, linked in the box at the top of this page). In the actual diagram the spot where "DIXIE" was to be found is in the "non movement area" to the left of the construction area for the new concourse.
The "Plane Train" People Mover's recorded announcements list "Concourse D as in David," rather than "Delta" or "Dixie."
See also 
- Atlanta's second airport
- Busiest airports in the United States by international passenger traffic
- Georgia World War II Army Airfields
- World's busiest airport
- World's busiest airports by cargo traffic
- World's busiest airports by international passenger traffic
- World's busiest airports by passenger traffic
- World's busiest airports by traffic movements
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- Official website
- Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport Official YouTube
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution
- Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport 1961–1980
- Historic photos of Atlanta Airport – Over 100 pages of historic ATL photos including dozens of vintage photos from the LIFE archive.
- Atlanta Airport Time Machine – ATL Airport historian David Henderson's Google Maps mashup featuring historical locations and associated photography.