Fifth Runway Increases Airport Capacity
By DeAllous Smith
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s fifth runway, Runway 10-28, dubbed “The Most Important Runway in America,” celebrated one year of operations on May 27.
”The fifth runway is the crown jewel of our $6.2 billion development program,” said Aviation General Manager Ben DeCosta. “Since its opening, we have experienced a reduction in flight delays when operating all five runways at full capacity.”
The additional runway allows the world’s busiest airport to accommodate up to 134 flight arrivals and up to 120 departures per hour in good weather.
During inclement weather patterns, the Airport can handle up to 100 aircraft operations per hour, essentially the same number of arrivals per hour that a two-runway airfield could accommodate in good weather.
And while it’s the youngest runway at the Airport, Runway 10-28 has added much needed capacity to the U.S. air transportation system.
Operating with only four runways during seven of 12 months in 2006, Hartsfield-Jackson’s passenger count stood at more than 84.5 million travelers. And its total operational figures included 1,224 daily domestic departures and 669 weekly non-stop global departures.
“The fifth runway offers flexibility,” said Environmental and Technical Services Director Tom Nissalke. “With an additional runway, air carriers are able to provide a much more reliable flight schedule due to the increased airfield capacity.”
In September 2006, aviation officials were reminded of the fifth runway’s importance when the Airport temporarily closed Runway 8R – 26L and Taxiway Echo for a 60-day repaving project.
Closure of the 37-year old runway resulted in longer than usual delays, which eventually subsided once the runway reopened in November.
In the midst of the largest public works project ever in Georgia, the Hartsfield-Jackson Development Program consists of several integral components, including the fifth runway, Central Passenger Terminal Complex improvements, a new Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Control Tower, the new Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal and the Consolidated Rental Agency Complex.
© 2007 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.