Atlanta is celebrating the opening of the airport's new $1.4 billion Maynard H Jackson Jr International Terminal.
The first scheduled flight to operate out of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport's new 1.2 million square foot facility was a Delta Air Lines service to Tokyo–Narita.
Passengers aboard Delta Flight 177 from Dublin, Ireland, were the first to arrive at the international terminal’s 12-gate Concourse F.
Managed by TBI Airport Management, the new LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified terminal is described as "the new front door" to Atlanta for international passengers.
While Atlanta Mayor, Kasim Reed, calls the facility and its 12-gate concourse, which connects with the existing international concourse, a "world-class, 40-gate travel complex".
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Reed enthused: "This magnificent facility is an economic catalyst for the city of Atlanta, the state of Georgia and the entire southeastern United States, and it will help create jobs and new business opportunities for years to come."
His praise was echoed by Delta CEO, Richard Anderson, who said: "The new international terminal is Atlanta's new front door to the world.
"On behalf of Delta people worldwide, I want to congratulate aviation general manager Louis Miller, Mayor Kasim Reed and the city of Atlanta for seeing this project to its completion and thank them for continuing that strong partnership Delta has had with the Airport and city for more than 70 years.
"Delta's contribution to the new terminal and concourse is part of a more than $3 billion investment in facilities, products and technology in the air and on the ground."
The airline currently operates more than 1,000 daily flights to 208 destinations, including non-stop services to 65 international destinations, from Hartsfield-Jackson.
According to the airport, the opening is perfectly timed to meet the growing demand for international services in Atlanta as a record 9.9 million international passengers passed through Hartsfield-Jackson last year, and the FAA predicts that demand will top 13 million by 2015.
“The opening of the international terminal is huge for Atlanta,” Miller said.
“It gives international passengers their own terminal with its own entrance, it ends the baggage recheck process for Atlanta-bound passengers and it enhances the Airport’s overall capacity now and for the future.”
All pictures courtesy of Hartsfield-Jackson.
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport handled 92.4 million passengersin 2011 to maintain its status as the world's busiest airport for the 14th successive year.
Passengers access the new terminal via the I-75 at Exit 239.