Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Busiest Airport

Atlanta World’s Busiest Airport

Home to Delta Air Lines, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) once again takes the record for the world’s busiest airport for the 14th consecutive year.  Passenger traffic increased by more than 3.5 percent from 2010 to 2011; this increase is record-shattering with 2011 being the busiest year ever.

Much of the growth is attributed to Delta Air Lines, which made several route changes after their merger with Northwest Airlines.  Part of the increase is the result of Delta using less 50 seat CRJ-200 regional jet aircraft in Atlanta in favor of larger regional jets and additional mainline aircraft.

The 2011 record brought 92.39 million passengers through Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson in 2011, 2.6 percent higher than the previous record of 90 million set in 2008.

The new south runway has also allowed for smoother operations and less delays.

“We’re growing faster than the North American average, which is no easy feat during these tough economic times,” Aviation General Manager Louis Miller said. “With the opening of the international terminal this spring, we’re looking forward to continued growth this year and beyond.”

An underground walkway with a tram known as the “plane train” connects all concourses at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International, making for easy connections.  Passengers have the choice of walking or taking the Plane Train.

Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport "Plane Train"
Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport “Plane Train”
Plane Train Map and Status Monitor
Plane Train Map and Status Monitor


Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson is preparing for additional international traffic and will soon be opening a new door in another chapter of the airport’s history.  The new Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal and its 12-gate concourse is scheduled to open this spring.  The new facility will also be known as the F concourse and the 1.2 million-square-foot facility will connect with the existing international concourse E.  Together, the two international concourses will create a 40-gate travel complex.

The new International Terminal will also eliminate the need for Atlanta passengers to re-check luggage and re-clear security.  A new entrance to the airport is being built with the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal.  Atlanta passengers will have direct access to the international terminal via I-75 at Exit 239.

While the new terminal is not quite complete, jetways are finished at each of the 12 new gates.  Delta Air Lines and Aircraft Service International Group worked with airport officials to conduct plane-fit testing at all of the new gates.  The test was done to ensure the jet bridges used by passengers not only work properly, but that each aircraft type can be safely used at each gate.

The tests were conducted with 11 aircraft types at each gate on the new F concourse, including a Delta Air Lines Boeing 747-400.

“We want to make certain all systems are checked, rechecked and ready to go before we start operations,” said Louis Miller, Airport general manager. “Our goal is to make opening day as seamless as possible for our passengers.”

Other systems tested included electrical power and water connections, jet bridge doors, air conditioning, fueling access, and both the baggage-belt loader and container loading positioning.

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