KATL Fifth Runway Commissioning Today


#1

ATLANTA – Officials will commission the opening of the fifth runway with a ceremony today at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The nine-thousand-foot runway is scheduled to get its first traffic on May 27.

Officials at the world’s busiest airport are pledging to cut delays in half. That could mean fewer and shorter delays through the entire air transportation network in the United States and possibly around the world.

That’s because no other airport in the world handles more passengers. Nearly 86 million people pass through the Atlanta airport each year on more than 980,000 flights, one taking off or landing about every 30 seconds. The airport serves 156 U.S. cities and 65 others overseas in 43 countries.

The runway is part of a major overhaul at the airport that also includes the tallest air traffic control tower in North America, standing at 398 feet, and an “end-around” taxiway, the first of its kind in the country, that will help keep arriving flights from being delayed by having to wait to cross busy runways before reaching their gates.


#2

… “end-around” taxiway, the first of its kind in the country, that will help keep arriving flights from being delayed by having to wait to cross busy runways before reaching their gates.

What does this mean? Looking at the ATL airport diagram, it appears that this is runway 10/28. In order to get to the terminals, you need to pass runways 09/27. Unless this diagram isn’t complete, all taxiways either cross or go to the ends of runways 09/27.

However, cargo aircraft could get to the south cargo area without passing a runway.


#3

Taxiways SC and SJ allow arrivals and departures to roll to/from 10/28 without conflict, so that’s nice. However, the diagram does say it’s valid through 8-Jun-2006 and I don’t see a taxiway that goes around the 9/27 runways.

I don’t think that’s a real problem, though, tower is quick to issue runway crossings between arrivals and departures and it’s generally not a big deal. Additionally, a taxiway east or or west of the 9/27s would have to be pretty far away to not cause an obstacle obstruction or interfere with the ILS critical area, so I don’t know how practical that would be.


#4

I don’t think the end-around taxiway was part of the runway project; rather it’s a separate project which will be completed at a later date, along with the new tower.


#5

I also read in an article that this new runway will save airlines $5 million per week- Delta must be a happy camper to hear this


#6

An end-around taxiway at either end of the 9/27s has been mentioned for the future but I don’t see it happening. There is almost no extra room on the airport property for an end-around taxiway. (See airliners.net for some good aerial photos of ATL that were recently taken and you’ll see what I mean.)

Also, 9L/27R is the longest runway at ATL and it’s only 11,890 feet long. The long-term Master Plan for ATL calls for extending that runway to 13,300 feet. This, by itself, would push the runway into the long-term parking lot.

The truth of the matter is that ATL is squeezed in between three highways: I-285 on the south side, I-75 on the east side and I-85 on the west side. And on the north side you have the Delta Headquarters buildings. Not a lot of wiggle room in any direction.