Hartsfield-Jackson concourse expansion joins list of federally funded Georgia airport improvements
By John Ruch
A Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport concourse will get a $40 million expansion in the latest federally funded airport upgrade secured by Georgia officials.
The expansion and upgrade of the 40-year-old Concourse D, with goals of boosting passenger capacity and energy efficiency, was announced on July 7 by U.S. Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams and Mayor Andre Dickens.
The federal officials secured the funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which the senators say authorizes about $619 million in total spending on Georgia airports. That follows the senators’ securing nearly $13.5 million in American Rescue Plan funds last summer for improvements at nine regional airports around the state.
At Hartsfield-Jackson, long listed among the world’s busiest airports, Concourse D is one of seven passenger concourses and one of the smallest.
“The D widening project will increase capacity and passenger access by increasing the current size of hold rooms, restrooms and the central corridor,” said airport spokesperson Alnissa Ruiz-Craig. “The central corridor will increase by 30 feet [in width], improving ADA accessibility. The project will also include energy efficiency through LED lighting, occupancy sensors and other energy-saving products and measures.”
The project, which has no specific timeline yet, is expected to create 500 temporary construction jobs.
The officials announced the expansion in a press conference at the airport and touted the benefits to Atlanta and Georgia in a press release.
“This funding will help modernize Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the busiest airport in the world and an economic engine for Atlanta and the state,” said Warnock in the release.
“For generations, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has been the world’s busiest and efficient airport, the most important piece of civilian infrastructure in the country, and a source of Black wealth,” said Williams, who sits on an aviation subcommittee of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. “We must invest in our airport so it can keep flying high for generations to come.”
“This grant will create good-paying jobs as we widen Concourse D to bring the 40-year-old structure up to the level of the airport’s six other concourses,” said Dickens, who harkened back to one of the airport’s namesakes. “ATL will continue the work started by Mayor Jackson to ensure all eligible businesses will be provided an opportunity to participate in this project. I thank our federal delegation for their bipartisan commitment to infrastructure investment and for delivering these dollars to ATL.”
The Concourse D expansion goes onto a list of other major improvements underway or on the drawing board at the airport. These include an expansion of Concourse T, an extension of the plane train tunnel, and a reconstruction of the south deck parking structure.