Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and USDA Open New Inspection Plant
USDA-approved site triples in size; second largest inspection plant in the United States
ATLANTA – Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) celebrated the opening of a new inspection plant today. The 16,000-square-foot plant is triple the size of the previous facility and is expected to increase the volume of cargo Atlanta receives and processes. Atlanta’s Plant Inspection Station is one of sixteen in the United States and has grown to second in volume, with over 200 million plants imported a year.
“Hartsfield-Jackson is already the world’s busiest passenger airport,” said Hartsfield-Jackson general manager Louis Miller. “Today’s opening and our strong partnership with USDA puts us in a position to continue to grow our cargo operations at the airport.”
“This expansion allows us to conduct inspections on the growing number of imported plants without comprising the safeguarding measures we have in place for protecting American agriculture,” said USDA APHIS’ State Plant Health Director for Georgia, William Kauffman. “The facility’s smooth construction process is just one example of the strong partnership between USDA and Atlanta Department of Aviation.”
Hartsfield-Jackson and Miami International Airport are the only two USDA-approved sites to apply cold treatment in the Southeast. Sites that are certified to apply cold treatment are able to receive a wider variety of perishable goods—including already grown plants—due to the engineering available at the facilities.
The new plant at Hartsfield-Jackson includes a docking system and direct access to the tarmac that will expedite cargo inspections. Additionally, the facility is equipped with two areas—one for import and the other for export—which provides USDA with the capability to certify export commodities and conduct inspections simultaneously.
The facility is LEED-silver certified and boasts state-of-the art technology including a molecular diagnostics laboratory and video capability to conference in remote specialists for pest identification.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Hartsfield-Jackson is the world’s busiest airport, serving more than 95 million passengers annually with nonstop service to 160 U.S. destinations and nearly 70 international destinations in more than 45 countries.
The Airport is a frequent recipient of awards of excellence for concessions, operations, architectural engineering and construction – including the 2013 Global Efficiency Excellence Award from the Air Transport Research Society (for more information, go to www.atrsworld.org), 2013 Project of the Year, Architectural Category for the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal from the American Association of Airport Executives Southeast chapter (for more information, go to www.secaaae.org ) and the 2012 Best Airport in North America, Business Travel Award from the Business Traveler Magazine (for more information, go to www.businesstravelerusa.com ). ATL is undergoing more than $6 billion worth of capital improvements, which include a new, energy-efficient rental car center, a gold LEED certified international terminal which opened to the general public on May 16, 2012 (for more information, go to www.atlanta-airport.com/internationalterminal/) and aesthetic and functional upgrades to its concourses, people movers and parking services. For more information, go to www.atlanta-airport.com. Check out the Airport’s YouTube
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