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August 12, 2019

MAC and RBC Visits Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

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Last week, the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) and other board members of the Regional Business Coalition (RBC) visited Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (HJAIA) to meet with General Manager John Selden and tour the airfield of the world’s busiest airport. The Metro Atlanta Chamber was one of the founding members of the RBC in 1997, whose mission is to promote the common business interests of its 16 member chambers in four issue areas: transportation, air quality, water and economic development.

 

HJAIA is Georgia’s ultimate strategic asset in two of those areas: transportation and economic development. HJAIA is unquestionably the single greatest driver of our region’s and state’s economy. It’s not only the world’s busiest airport, but for the past 16 consecutive years, HJAIA has also been the most efficient airport in the world. Earlier this year, when the Georgia General Assembly was debating legislation that would allow the state to take over and control HJAIA, the Metro Atlanta Chamber penned a letter to Governor Brian Kemp opposing it. The legislation, as passed the senate, eventually stalled in the Georgia House of Representatives, but is still pending for 2020.

During the conversation, Selden emphasized several key metrics about the airport: it provides 63,000+ jobs onsite and creates over $70.9 billion in direct economic impact.  He also outlined NextATL, the airport’s $6 billion, 20-year capital improvement plan. The plan includes:

  • 5 new gates at Concourse T
  • New 4-star hotel, mixed-use development with office space, and travel plaza
  • 10 new gates at a new Concourse G
  • Replacement of North and South parking decks, and new parking deck near G.I.C.C., new Park-Ride lot on Sullivan Road
  • Expanded cargo facilities
  • Massive canopies and pedestrian bridges to parking decks (nearly complete)
  • Sixth runway and Runway 9L End-around taxiway, among other improvements

 

The airport visit also included a tour of the airfield, specifically a visit to the 5th runway, Stogner Hill and Taxiway V-8R End Around. That taxiway, known as the “Victor Loop,” is an innovation that eliminates 700 aircraft runway daily crossings, increasing the capacity of Runway 8R 26L by 21% and providing immense jet fuel savings. A similar taxiway will be constructed for the south runways as part of the NextATL program.

 

The Metro Atlanta Chamber remains fully committed to the City of Atlanta continuing to operate HJAIA in the most professional, transparent, and effective way possible. We want to thank the City of Atlanta, John Selden and his staff for their continuing partnership and leadership.

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