Hartsfield-Jackson International on Friday night began restricting access to the airport between the hours of 11 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.
The world’s busiest airport said under the new policy effective March 2, access to the terminals, parking decks, SkyTrain and rental car center is restricted during that overnight period. Ticketed airline passengers; people meeting, accompanying or assisting passengers; and “authorized personnel” are allowed access to the facilities in late night hours.
While airport officials have taken steps before to ask overnight visitors to show their boarding passes, the new policy comes amid a growing issue of homeless people sleeping in the Atlanta airport’s domestic terminal overnight.
Airport officials said the change is “a result of an increasing volume” of passengers and visitors, along with construction projects. They said the new policy will allow overnight crews to thoroughly clean public areas.
“What we try to do every night is make the airport ‘opening-day fresh.’ Sometimes that’s challenging for us,” said Hartsfield-Jackson general manager Roosevelt Council at a city council transportation committee meeting Wednesday. “We have people that are always there.”
Airport officials said the new policy on hours of operation is similar to that of other large airports, including Chicago O’Hare, Reagan National in Washington, D.C., and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
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