Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has celebrated a milestone in one of its most ambitious projects to date.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens celebrated with ATL general manager Balram “B” Bheodari the raising of a 900lb steel beam on the first module of the new addition to Concourse D. According to ATL, the unique building technique being used will widen and modernise the concourse while maintaining operations at the airport.

“This project will enable us to meet future capacity demands while enhancing ATL’s role as a leader in the industry,” said Bheodari. “The unique requirements of building what is, in effect, a new concourse while maintaining operations, will be a challenge we’ll overcome through collaboration, planning, and professionalism.”

Opened in 1980, Concourse D is one of five original concourses of ATL’s Domestic Terminal. It is the airport’s narrowest, with a circulation corridor of 18ft and hold room (gate area) seating for 5,400 passengers. The concourse was originally designed with 40 gates to handle 19 regional aircraft and 21 larger aircraft. Even after renovations over the decades, Concourse D remains dramatically undersized, given its passenger use.

Airport officials determined that Concourse D needed to be larger and wider, but were challenged with completing the project without disrupting operations. After consulting with and visiting facilities that underwent similar projects, it was decided to build 19 modules outside of airside operations and attach them to the existing structure.

The 19 modules will be built offsite on a six-acre modular construction lot adjacent to the facility. Once each module is complete, it will be individually transported across the airfield overnight to Concourse D for installation.

Once completed, the modernised Concourse D will have larger hold rooms twice their original size, with increased seating to 6,400; corridor width expanded by 29ft; ceiling height raised by 18ft; a 75% increase in boarding level square footage; new restrooms twice their original size; new building systems; and 34 aircraft positions for Group III aircraft (eight fewer due to larger capacity jets).  

The construction of the first prefabricated modules will take place this month (December 2023). They are scheduled to be moved in late spring, with the project due for completion in summer 2029.

Concourse D is one of five original concourses at ATL
Concourse D is one of five original concourses at ATL Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport