Atlanta Airport to unveil $6 billion plan for upgrade, expansion - CBS46 News

Atlanta Airport to unveil $6 billion plan for upgrade, expansion

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Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. (Source: WGCL) Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. (Source: WGCL)

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will unveil a $6 billion plan Thursday to upgrade and expand the airport.

"Our originating flights at Hartsfield-Jackson are up 10 percent," said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. "We actually thought it was going to be about 3 percent to 5 percent growth, so it's been about double what we anticipated."

The plan includes a sixth runway and an aviation expert said you could see more airlines fly in and out of the airport, which is already the busiest in the world.

The plan also includes a modernization of the domestic terminal, along with new gates for more flights. 

Right now more than 100 million passengers flow through the airport each year and that's caused long wait times at security checkpoints with the TSA. The airport is already considering hiring a private company to handle increased traffic.

"You have large passenger volumes coming through," said Peter Neffenger with the TSA. "You still have to meet certain screening standards. What it really begs is what the checkpoints should look like going forward."

A new concourse is also included in construction plans. There are already six in the domestic terminal and one more in the international terminal. Additionally, new parking structures are included to handle more arrivals and departures. 

There are also plans for an expansion of the cargo area. 

Because of the plan, and a long term deal with Delta Air Lines, the airport's bond rating was upgraded and that's a confidence booster for investors.

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