Atrium of the 1.2 million square feet Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal in Atlanta, in the state of Georgia, US.
View of the transitions hall at the new Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International terminal.
The departures level at the new international terminal of the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

A new international terminal was opened at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, in the US state of Georgia, on 16 May 2012. Named in the honour of former mayor Maynard H. Jackson Jr., the new terminal is located to the east of the existing airport.

The terminal was built as part of a capital development programme initiated at the airport in 2000. It aims to meet the projected operational demands of the 21st century and enhance the airport capacity.

The terminal space close to International Concourse E, featuring an area of 1.2 million square feet, was earlier occupied by the midfield control tower and cargo facilities. The total cost of building the new terminal was $1.4bn.

The Atlanta airport is one of the busiest in the world in terms of passenger traffic and international flight movements. It handles approximately nine million international passengers, and 68,000 flight take-offs and landings a year. The Federal Aviation Administration estimates that passenger traffic levels will cross 13 million by 2015. The airport handled 96.1m passengers and 555,856t of cargo in 2014.

Terminal construction as part of the capital development programme

Construction of the terminal building was started in summer 2008. It was completed in April 2012. The project generated about 3,000 jobs. The new terminal complex also created 1,000 new jobs in the management, operation and maintenance areas.

Features of the new Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal

Passengers can access the Maynard H Jackson Jr. International Terminal through exit 239 of I-75. The new terminal and its concourse F are linked to concourse E.

The new concourse has 12 gates, bringing the total number of international travel gates at the airport to 40. Concourse E has 28 international gates. The terminal is also connected to the remaining five international concourses, namely A, B, C, D and T.

The Maynard H Jackson Jr. International Terminal serves passengers from across the globe to connect to 150 cities within the US. In turn, it connects US passengers to roughly 50 countries. The terminal has separate levels for arrivals and departures.

The terminal features a new customs and border protection (CBP) inspection station, two new parking facilities with 3,500 spaces, plus eight security checkpoint lanes for international departing passengers and five security re-check lanes for domestic connecting passengers. It has an advanced baggage system, which eliminates the need for Atlanta-bound international passengers to recheck their baggage.

As many as 80 ticketing counters and 64 self-service check-in kiosks are available in the ticketing hall. The terminal also has business services, retail outlets and restaurants, and promotes economical development.

The project also involved construction of elevated roadways, new gates, an automated people mover (APM) station, an APM train and utility connecting bridge to concourse E. Concourse E was also refurbished to include a fuel pit, more baggage handling areas and jet bridge modifications.

Automated people movers (APMs), The Plane Train and SkyTrain

The terminal’s concourse F is served by The Plane Train, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s underground APM. The extension of the APM line from concourse E required using another ten vehicles.

Bombardier Transportation Holdings was the designer, constructor and supplier of the APM system. Passengers can reach the rental car centre from the terminal using a dedicated shuttle bus. An external elevated APM, over Interstate 85, called ATL SkyTrain, connects the terminal with the rental car facility and Georgia International Convention Center. The SkyTrain uses six two-car Mitsubishi Crystal Mover vehicles.

Comfortable design and sustainability focus at the busy US airport

The terminal complex is designed with open, light and airy spaces focusing on passenger comfort and convenience. The atrium of the concourse features artworks, such as crystal chandelier and music instruments.

The project used local materials and colours to promote sustainability. About 75% of the construction wastes were reused and sustainable wood and materials were used to reduce the overall carbon emissions. A 25,000ft³ rainwater collection system filters the water before releasing it into the environment.

The terminal uses recycled, organic and compostable packages as part of the airport’s recycling programme. Energy-efficient lighting, an insulated glass façade and equipment reduce the consumption of energy and natural gas. Efficient HVAC and water-efficient fixtures save 40,000gal of water a year.

Gates are equipped with 400Hz power supplies and use preconditioned air to reduce jet fuel consumption by the aircraft. Plug-in electrical chargers across the concourse gates also decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

Low VOC paints, sealants, adhesives, eco-friendly cleaners, carpets, and increased ventilation and monitoring enhance the air quality inside the international terminal. Passengers can get the sustainability initiatives at the airport by scanning quick read (QR) codes on their smartphones.

The new international terminal achieved LEED gold certification from the US Green Building Council.

Financing behind Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s project

Approximately $1bn of the total $1.4bn investment was funded through municipal bonds, while the remaining is funded by the airlines. The US Federal Aviation Administration provided $13.9m for the apron construction. The Transportation Security Administration funded $20m towards an inline baggage screening system.

Architects and contractors involved with the new terminal building

Concourse F, the terminal building and parking facilities were designed by Atlanta Gateway Designers (AGD). It is a joint venture between the Duckett Design Group and Gresham, Smith & Partners. The project design required an extension of the underground APM tunnel.

Ascend designed the elevated roadway system, a commercial vehicle hold lot and the international Park-Ride parking facility. It is a consortium formed by Atkins, Delon Hampton & Associates, Prime Engineering and Street Smarts.

The ground level roadways system, fuel systems and apron pavement and lighting were designed by AIS, a joint venture of Long Engineering, LPA Group and Pond & Company.

The Holder-Manhattan-C.D. Moody-Hunt joint venture was responsible for the management of the entire terminal complex construction.