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Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport: Master Plan Update and On-Call Planning Services

Atlanta Master Plan Update

AIRPORT: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

SPONSOR: City of Atlanta, Department of Aviation

In 2011, Ricondo was selected by the City of Atlanta Department of Aviation to prepare a Master Plan for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The 4,700-acre airport is located approximately 7 miles south of Atlanta’s central business district. Under a 3-year agreement with the City, Ricondo is also providing on-call aviation planning services.

The Master Plan is being prepared to define short- and long-term development needs for the airport. In addition to compiling a comprehensive inventory of airport facilities, Ricondo developed aviation activity forecasts, taking into consideration significant aircraft fleet changes planned by Delta Air Lines and the changes associated with the acquisition of AirTran Airways by Southwest Airlines. As part of the latter element, Ricondo specifically analyzed the combined airline’s transition from a connecting hub operation to an operation reflecting a focus on origin and destination passengers, and the effect of the two previously separate airlines operating at the airport as a single entity, both commercially and operationally. Ricondo’s forecasts were subsequently approved by the FAA.

In addition to annual passenger, cargo, and aircraft operations forecasts, Ricondo also developed detailed design day flight schedules for future years for use in the facility requirements analyses. The facility requirements analyses included simulation modeling of the airfield, terminal, automated people movers, roadways, and curbsides, considering changes in needs driven by the evolution of airline combinations or partnerships. Future requirements were also developed for vehicle parking, cargo buildings, ground support equipment maintenance, flight kitchens, and other support functions.

The Master Plan alternatives have been focused on the development of either a dependent runway spaced less than 5,000 feet from existing Runway 10-29, or an independent runway spaced 5,000 feet or more from either Runway 10-289 or Runway 8L-26R to provide capacity in Instrument Meteorological Conditions, recognizing potential changes that could result from NextGen implementation. These alternatives are being evaluated using simulation modeling and benefit-cost analysis to understand whether or not operational benefits can outweigh costs and the relative merits of each alternative. For the terminal and gate facilities, the alternatives have been focused on continued expansion along the airport spine versus development on a new site in the south airfield. The Master Plan is scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of 2015.

In addition to the Master Plan, Ricondo has completed, or is currently working on, a number of on-call planning tasks for airfield, terminal, landside, parking, and cargo facilities at the Airport. Representative projects include:

  • Concourse T North Optimization
  • Concourse E Federal Inspection Services Moving Sidewalks
  • International Terminal Cell Phone Lot
  • Domestic Terminal Commercial Vehicle and Cell Phone Lot
  • Runway 9L End-around Taxiway
  • A380 Operational Plan and Modifications to Design Standards
  • Rental Car Space Reallocation
  • Cargo Building Programming
  • Economic Impact Study