Atlanta Airport Opens New International Terminal

AIN Air Transport Perspective » May 28, 2012
Aerial view of new international terminal at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
An aerial view of the new international terminal at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport shows the progress of construction last year. (Photo: Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport)
May 28, 2012, 10:30 AM

The world’s busiest airport in terms of overall passenger traffic has added a new international terminal. The Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport opened May 16 after more than a decade of planning and nearly four years of construction.

Delta Air Lines Flight 295 to Tokyo Narita International Airport, a Boeing 777-200LR, marked the first departure from the new terminal. Delta Flight 177 from Dublin, an Airbus A330-200, was the first to arrive.

Part of a long-term $6 billion capital improvement program approved by the Atlanta City Council in 2000, the new 1.2 million-sq-ft Concourse F cost a reported $1.4 billion. The facility adds 12 gates to the existing 28 gates in Concourse E, an international terminal opened in 1994. Airport officials set the opening date of the new terminal after a county judge denied an injunction sought by concessionaires who failed to win contracts from the airport, and earlier planning “suffered from delays, ballooning costs and conflicts,” according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson hosted a record 9.9 million international passengers last year, about 11 percent of its 92.4 million overall passengers. The FAA has forecast that international passenger traffic through Atlanta will increase by more than 30 percent, to 13 million, by 2015, according to the airport.

For its part, Delta has committed more than $3 billion to new facilities, including the international gateway at its hub in Atlanta and renovations to airport facilities in New York, Seattle, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.

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Bob
on June 19, 2012 - 10:36pm

I sure hope someone is going to address the distance from E Concourse to Passport Control. I thought I would wind up in Chattanooga. The German Passengers around me were wondering where this underground passage ended. The distance without a train is ridiculous. I have flown into the international terminal at least 40 or so times over the past 8 years and it took me longer to clear passport, baggage and customs on 7 June than it ever took me before with the cumbersome re-check and security checks.

I guess if you arrive at Concourse F you will be okay. But the majority of International flights will still arrive on E and someone needs to be thinking of them, particularly the elderly or handicapped passengers.

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Orlando Gallardo
on June 21, 2012 - 10:10am

I travelled from London to Atlanta last year, and it was the worst part of my trip. Coming home was miserable. Unprofessionalism, long lines, long walks. No different than the 1996 Olympics, Atlanta Airport still a mess. Now you arrive in one terminal and your bags in another. You read the website, and understand nothing, one comment or set of instructions erases the other by far. Is there anybody left in Atlanta with brains to sort these things out?. Good Luck. I am still confused of where to go, park and pick up my luggage......Anybody knows?

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