One of the tightest squeezes at the world’s busiest airport has embarked on a complex project that aims to make travel more pleasant and efficient for thousands of passengers per day.

Alongside Mayor Andre Dickens, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport officials on Thursday celebrated what’s being called a milestone “in one of the airport’s most ambitious projects to date”—the widening of Concourse D.

The project is using a unique building technique with prefabricated modules to modernize and widen the concourse while not disrupting operations with passengers. Airport general manager Balram Bheodari led a ceremony Thursday to raise a 900-pound steel beam marking the first module addition.

Courtesy of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport/Mammoet

Bheodari said the project will result in what’s effectively a new concourse that allows the airport to meet future capacity demands. Today, Concourse D is the airport’s narrowest and is “dramatically undersized,” with a circulation corridor of just 18 feet, according to airport officials.

Concourse D was opened in 1980 at ATL’s Domestic Terminal as one of five original concourses.

Airport officials say the concourse overhaul, once completed, will increase seating by 1,000 seats (up to 6,400) with hold rooms at twice their original size, expanding the concourse width by 29 feet and ceiling height by 18 feet. It will also allow for more larger-capacity jets and boost restrooms to twice their original size.   

Courtesy of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport/Mammoet

Courtesy of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport/Mammoet

Expanding the concourse while keeping it open presented a problem. The solution? To build 19 modules at a six-acre modular construction lot adjacent to the airport, and then install them individually overnight, attaching each one to Concourse D’s existing structure.     

According to airport officials, the first set of prefabricated modules is set to be moved into place in spring next year. The project won’t be completed, however, until summer 2029.

Courtesy of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport/Mammoet


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