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NEWS Last modified on September 2, 2014

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta outlines 20-year master plan

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has revealed plans to build new gates, double parking capacity, and add a sixth runway as part of its 20-year master plan.

Local reports in the US, say Miguel Southwell, aviation general manager at the world’s busiest hub, outlined a series of short and long-term improvements recommended during a presentation to the Atlanta City Council's Transportation Committee last week.

Short-term projects, to be carried out during the next two to three years, he explains, include replacing the north and south parking garages at the airport, built in the 1970s, with new garages.

This will see increasing the number of floors in the new garages from the current four to eight or nine, which will allow the airport to double its on-site parking capacity.

Also on the short-term projects list, are plans to expand the airport's air cargo facilities, and the building of a new end-around taxiway on one of the runways, to eliminate departing aircraft having to cross each other.

The master plan also calls for building additional gates to the east of the new Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal, and the early forecasts are the airport will need nine new gates by 2021.

The gateway says the new gates will be dedicated to international flights, allowing Concourse E to be used primarily for domestic flights.

But the biggest infrastructure development outlined in the master plan is the recommended construction of a sixth runway, earmarked to be built on the southern end of the airport.

Southwell explains in reports that gateway officials developing the plan concluded it would best to locate the new runway on airport property, as it would be less controversial.

The hub estimates the new runway will cost just more than $1 billion, slightly less than the nearly $1.3 billion fifth runway the airport added in 2006, while the new runway would also be a little shorter than the fifth runway.

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