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Hartsfield-Jackson's planned upgrades have traveler experience in mind

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport’s modernization plan is aimed at easing the anxiety of travel, adding technology and convenience, said airport general manager Miguel Southwell.

The current terminal was designed some four decades ago, according to Southwell. “Passenger needs have evolved from the last 40 years,” he said.

Modifications will add windows to bring more light into the building, which he said can ease travelers’ anxiety. They will also aim to meet needs of travelers who need to charge their computers or phones.

The modernization is part of a broader $6 billion expansion and upgrade of Hartsfield-Jackson over the next 20 years. It will include a canopy over the curbside area that is expected to change the look and feel of the airport entrance.

"We all know that growth is going to continue," said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed during a State of the Airport luncheon Thursday at the Georgia World Congress Center. "

Some of the renovations will add sustainability efforts, including alternative energy such as solar panels. Also planned is a composting and recycling facility called Green Acres, as well as a carbon credit program with the airport buying carbon credits.

A key piece of funding the airport’s capital improvement program is a lease with Delta and other airlines that is close to being finalized.

Southwell said the airport is “doing a good job in historically controlling costs” and that the airport’s portion of costs to airlines using the airport – now $3.51 per passenger -- will increase by only a penny over 20 years.


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About the Author

Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.