ATLANTA — The Atlanta airport has a new end-around taxiway. That’s a path for an aircraft to taxi around on an active runway.
This is the second one at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
City and airport officials held a ribbon-cutting Tuesday for the new “9-l” end-around taxiway. More than three-quarters of a mile of new pavement curves around, allowing planes more room to take off and giving planes arriving a more direct route to the terminal, cutting down on the number of runway crossings.
“It’s innovation at its best,” Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said.
Dickens saw the project from discussions and concept as councilmember and chair of the transportation committee to now completion as mayor.
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“It showed that it was going to save energy, which also saves costs, and it also saves time. Those are three no-brainers for me,” Dickens said.
Part of the massive $11.5 billion master plan at the airport, the cost of $91 million for the taxiway is split between local and federal funding.
“The airlines as a whole will save tens of millions of dollars annually in fuel saving,” Hartsfield-Jackson International General Manager Balram Bheodari said.
The airport’s general manager said taxiway 9-l means less idling, using less fuel but also less time just sitting on a plane and waiting.
“What the passenger will not notice is how quickly that aircraft will get them to the gate from the time of landing,” Bheodari said.
While the project was part of the airport master plan, along with renovation of the parking decks at domestic terminal and extension of the plane train, what is not included is a new 6th runway. That has been put on hold.
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