News and notes from Hartsfield-Jackson, the world's busiest airport

Atlanta airport using $300 million in short-term funding for parking, terminal projects

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport plans to use $300 million in short-term financing to pay for a new parking garage and other projects.

The interim funding is aimed at alleviating an upcoming issue: The world's busiest airport will lose more than 6,000 parking spaces, said airport chief financial officer Roosevelt Council Jr.

That's because the airport plans to build a hotel next to the domestic terminal where the West economy parking lot sits, along with an end-around taxiway on the west side of the airfield.

To alleviate the strain on parking, the airport plans to use about $200 million of the short-term funding to build a replacement parking deck next to the Georgia International Convention Center, reachable via the free Sky Train automated people-mover. Construction of the new remote parking deck is expected to start in April and take two years, Council said.

That remote parking deck will also be used to accommodate passengers while the domestic terminal parking garages are demolished and expanded.

The rest of the funding will be used to build five new gates on Concourse T, where United Airlines has consolidated its operations, and for other smaller projects on the airport's West curbside in preparation for the new hotel and at park-ride lots.

Hartsfield-Jackson plans to use the short-term funding as an interim solution, then expects to later issue bonds to pay off its commercial financing, Council said. The airport is funding the terminal modernization project with $450 million of commercial financing, and is seeking city council approval of the $300 million short-term funding.

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Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.