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Old 08-31-2011, 06:31 PM
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The article link and comments are very helpful -- thanks!
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Old 09-01-2011, 12:56 AM
Location: Atlanta
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I just wanted to chime in... Testa is right.

The original master plans were to put the south gate complex west of the taxiway between runways 4 and 5. At one time they had 3 or 4 different renderings with how they would do it with a few different particulars. One included an expansion of the current terminal and a long expansion of the people mover to the south gates, which would be set up very similar to the existing concourses between runways 2 and 3. The others had an actual terminal at the south gate further south where people could drive/park/go through security at the south gates.

In both scenarios runway 5 was built as far south as it is, so it would primarily plane landings destined for the south gates. (Any ATL frequent flier will tell you the taxi time from runway 5 to the existing gates takes a while. Runway 5 isn't as busy as the others for these reasons.)

In both scenarios the South Gates would primarily be used by the non-Delta/Delta partner and non-airtran airlines (like American, United, and smaller regional airlines like Spirit). In other words the design would be less for use as a hub... and more commuter (the flights that take you to other hubs/major cities... like Chicago, Dallas, NYC, etc...). This would open up more gates for Delta to expand into in the existing concourses.

The problem ... as already mentioned... is the hub airlines, Delta and airtran, are against this move along with the idea of a 2nd airport as it will mostly make Atlanta a more competitive market for them to operate in. Delta is also open to expanding operations in other regional hubs. Detroit is a big example in this. They are creating more international connections to Detroit and moving ...slowly... towards relying more on multiple hubs. This means Delta might not care about the extra gates in the future, if it means an increase in competition from United and American Airlines. What they do care about is anything that might slow their operations down or make them less efficient.

They have been pushing the idea of a 6th runway that would go immediately south of the runway 4. It could be the only logical (cost-effective) way for Hartsfield to expand a 6th runway. The problem is it would displace part of the South Cargo terminal and would take up alot of the room that was originally planned for the South Gates. I would also like to note... alot of the dirt/grading has already been done for the South Gate expansion. (This is actually a costly thing for airport expansion in this type of hilly terrain). A new runway immediately south of runway 4 would take advantage of this grading along with the current grading for the south cargo terminal. You can see this from google's aerial images. Google Maps

A 6th runway in that location would also create alot of taxi congestion. This means runways 5 and 6 will never be quite as efficient as the others. Which was partly the reason for the south gates, to make gates that could make more efficient use of the new fifth runway.

Anyways, a few years ago I was able download a few of these renderings before they disappeared off the websites and I uploaded them in another post.

I like the first design better myself. It seems more efficient. I find looking at these interesting. We can see that alot of the expansion has happened... The 5th runway, the rental center, the train to the rental car center, and the new international terminal is close to being done. The only thing missing is the south gates and the people mover/baggage conveyor belt extension.

Also, just a quick list of potential future issues to overcome

-past promises made to College Park the airport wouldn't grow beyond 5 runways. These promises were made from times the airport expanded and greatly impacted that city, surrounding land values, and it's tax digest.

-population growth further south in Clayton and Henry Counties

-There is a cemetary next to the new taxiway between runways 4 and 5

- There is a possibility for a runway alignment south of runway 5 that goes northwest to southeast to be used for take offs. It would require ALOT of dirt moving and couldn't be used for landings w/o conflicting with the other flight patterns for the other runways.

-There is an old landfill just south of runway 5

-There are a few large rock quarries south of runway 5
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Old 09-01-2011, 12:35 PM
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Excellent post.

Regarding a sixth runway that runs northwest to southeast, that's an option I wish got more attention. I made this post on it a good while ago:

Originally Posted by testa50 View Post
Regarding a 6th runway:

I don't know a huge amount about airport operations, but I've heard a big problem with our current takeoff patterns is that we have to accommodate all sizes of aircraft on our two (primarily) takeoff runways. This can lead to 747s sitting and waiting behind corporate jets and commuters. I would imagine that different takeoff speeds could be an issue here (747s take off a lot faster) which could exacerbate the issue, but I'm not sure about that.

So basically my idea is this:

- A takeoff runway that can only accommodate smaller aircraft (737 or A300 and below)
- A runway that might have to be coordinated with (ie play second fiddle to) a general runway that handles larger aircraft
- Try to minimize new structures, road relocations, land acquisitions, etc

Here's the alignment I would push for, again not having any expertise in this area:

Having crossing runways isn't ideal, but it happens all over the place. And the potential benefits are large: you could basically have all of these oddball aircraft (and a handful of 737s) lined up north of the runway, wait for the fifth to clear, and then allow a takeoff. It's not ideal operationally, but you wouldn't have to mess with 285 anymore, nor would you need to take over residential areas in any major volume (business properties are often more amenable to being taken for the right $$$).

I could see an argument for aiming the alignment slightly more southwards as well--winds, as well as the fact that the airport owns the existing borrow site (I think).

The major problem with any 6th runway south of the 5th is earthwork: elevations in that area are close to 100' below the runway surface, so a ridiculous amount of fill is required. I don't know the technical limitations inherent to building on a landfill site, but to my understanding the landfills aren't even above the elevation of the runways so maybe it's not such a big deal to just build on top of them.
Another option would be to have all takeoff traffic headed for the 6th runway to cross the 5th at the east end, turn to the west to parallel the 5th runway, slope down @ 3% for ~3,000 feet (which will put the runway at an elevation of 910'), then have the runway take off in a southeasterly direction from there. The 6th runway would start just east of I-285, near where the graduation cap is in the picture above.

As I said above, the goal here is to ONLY accommodate 737 and smaller and ONLY in takeoffs. The goal is to find a cost-effective way of alleviating the takeoff congestion that can occur in morning hours. Often, you have 747s or 777s bound for another continent sitting there waiting behind a prop plane headed to Knoxville. Send the Knoxville plane down a long, circuitous route to a new, shorter runway, and let the big boys use the two main takeoff runways. Even though Knoxville plane has a longer taxi, he will have to spend a lot less time waiting to take off.
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Old 09-01-2011, 03:50 PM
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Thanks for the renderings and the additional information. If a sixth runway is built, would building it over parts of College Park be the most efficient? I know that this option is not very popular and most likely will not happen, however I am just trying to get a better understanding of the logistics.
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Old 09-01-2011, 05:31 PM
Location: Earth
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Wow! that proposed rendering looks much bigger than JFK
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:20 AM
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Airport projects abound *| ajc.com
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:41 AM
Location: Kirkwood
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I find it odd that the airport is bounded by interstates on all sides. Makes it difficult for expansion.
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
I find it odd that the airport is bounded by interstates on all sides. Makes it difficult for expansion.

...but makes it excellent for metro-wide (and regional) access. Truly wonderful, really.

Last edited by aries4118; 05-06-2012 at 10:02 AM..
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:36 AM
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I was about to say something similar. Good airport access is important too. Not everyone rides the train.
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by aries4118 View Post

Thanks for posting...
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