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Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport
If you fly to Florida with the American carrier, Delta, it is highly likely that you will make your first landfall at Atlanta International Airport, otherwise known as Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).
This huge airport is the hub for Delta flights all over the USA, and it is located 7 miles south of the central business district of Atlanta, Georgia. When measured by passenger traffic it is the world’s busiest airport, and in terms of international flights it ranks as the seventh in the world, with over 4. 4 million passengers departing on international flights in 2007. The Delta hub is the world’s largest airline hub, and in 2007 Delta flew 56% of its passengers from here. An incredible 89. 4 million passengers passed through this airport, using nearly 1 million flights. Of course, many of these flights are domestic, and if you have flown from the UK it is here that you will make your domestic flight connection down to Orlando International Airport.
The airport has an incredible 196 gates, and 5 runways, the final runway being constructed in 2001 at a length of 9, 000 ft long. This airport is one of the few in the world which allows for triple simultaneous landings, and the fifth runway increased capacity to 237 flights per hour. A recent addition in 2005, the new Taxiway Victor, enablsd aeroplanes landing on the northernmost runway to taxi to the gate area without preventing other aircraft from taking off. Atlanta also has the tallest airport control tower in the US, at a height of 398ft.
The airport continues to grow and expand its facilities. A new car rental facility is due to open in early 2009, and this will hold 10 rental agencies. It will be connected to the airport by means of the automated people mover, as well as to the Georgia International Convention Center. There is also a four lane roadway planned which will link the rental car facility to the airport road network, thus making it easy for passengers arriving and departing to collect and return their rental cars.
A new terminal is planned for 2011, and this will add 10 gates capable of dealing with the new wide-bodied jets. It will have check in desks and a baggage claim area for international travellers so that they can pick up their bags and exit the airport from this area.
Atlanta Airport has two terminals, North and South, and the South Terminal is dominated by Delta. It is only a short walk from one terminal to the other. Of course, Atlanta shot to fame in 1996 when it hosted the Olympics. Money was poured into developing the airport facilities, and included the Atrium which provides shopping, eating and banking facilities. There is a range of food available for travellers, including all day breakfasts, oriental and southern style dishes. However, if you have time and want to relax, then find the cocktail bar and listen to the pianist who plays in the afternoon. The Martin Luther King Jr reading room is another area where you can find peace and quiet.
For those arriving on an international flight at concourse E you have to make a 10 minute journey to the other end of the airport to pick up a domestic flight. A train connects the different concourses, but it is a 1. 5 mile journey so allow time to make this transfer.
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