The Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is preparing to open an end-around taxiway in the coming weeks. The construction project has been ongoing for a few years and is supposed to enhance airport operations.
ATL airport enhancements
The construction of the new end around taxiway, which goes around the end of one of the runways on the airport’s south side, cost $81.8 million. Initially, the project was supposed to cost almost $62 million, but because of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, costs were increased by $20 million.
Runway crossings are expected to be reduced daily by 400 once the new end around taxiway is opened. Hartsfield-Jackson is set to become the second airport in the United States with two end-around taxiways, Dallas Fort-Worth International Airport being the first. DFW has four end-around taxiways located on both ends of two parallel runways.
To celebrate the completion of the new end around taxiway, the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport held a ribbon-cutting ceremony with a water cannon salute. Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, who was involved in the project from its origins, was present at the event and said.
“It’s innovation at its best. It showed that it was going to save energy, which also saves costs, and it also saves time. Those are three no-brainers for me.”
According to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport General Manager Balram Bheodari, the new end-around taxiway will bring millions in annual savings for airlines, in addition to the saved time.
End-around taxiways are meant to reduce the number of runway crossings and circle the end of runways eliminating the need for aircraft to cross active runways. At airports with parallel runways, like Los Angeles International Airport and Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, inbound aircraft use the outer runways. Because of this, airplanes are forced to cross the inner runways used for outbound flights, causing delays and even incidents like runway incursions.
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When end-around taxiways were first created, they were placed at the end of departure runways so that taxiing aircraft could taxi around the runway without interfering with departing aircraft. Some airports requested that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approve end-around taxiways on arriving runways so that aircraft could taxi without interfering with those coming in for landing.
DFW’s end-around taxiways were placed at both ends of two runways, 17C/35C and 17R/35L, and were expected to reduce taxi time by four minutes.
World’s busiest airport
In 2021, ATL regained its crown as the world’s busiest airport, handling 4.6 billion passengers.
The airport experienced a 28% increase from 2020 but was at almost 50% of 2019 levels when 9.1 billion passengers transited through ATL. ATL fell from the top position in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- United States
- Balram Bheodari
- Passenger Count :
- 75,704,760 (2021)
- Runways :
- 8L/26R – 2743m (9,000 ft) |8R/26L – 3048m (9,999 ft) |9L/27R – 3776m (12,390 ft) |9R/27L – 2743 m (12,390 ft) |10/28 – 2743 m (9,000 ft)
- Main Terminal | Domestic Terminal