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.