Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is located in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, and is one of two airports considered the busiest airport in the world. Its IATA airport code is ATL, its ICAO airport code is KATL.
Hartsfield-Jackson had its beginnings with a five-year, rent free lease on 287 acres that was the home of an abandoned auto racetrack which was signed on April 16, 1925 by Mayor Walter Sims, who committed the city to develop it into an airfield. As part of the agreement, the property was renamed Candler Field after its former owner, Coca-Cola tycoon and former Atlanta mayor Asa Candler. The first flight into Candler Field was September 15, 1926, a Florida Airways mail plane flying from Jacksonville. In May 1928, Pitcaim Aviation began service to Atlanta, followed in June 1930 by Delta Air Service. Later these two airlines, known as Eastern Airlines and Delta Air Lines, respectively, would both use Atlanta as their chief hubs.
Candler Field's first control tower was opened March 1939 and in October 1940 the U.S. government declared it an air base. During World War II, the airport would double in size and set a record of 1,700 takeoff and landings in a single day, making it the nation's busiest airport in terms of flight operation.
In 1946 Candler Field was renamed Atlanta Municipal Airport. In 1948, more than one million passengers passed through a war surplus hangar that served as a terminal building. On June 1, 1956 an Eastern Airlines flight to Montreal, Canada was first international flight out of Atlanta. In 1957, work on new terminal was begun to help alleviate congestion. Atlanta was the busiest airport in the country with more than two million passengers passing through that year and between noon and 2 p.m. each day, it became the busiest airport in the world.
On May 3, 1961, The new $21 million opened terminal opened, the largest in the country, being able to accommodate over six million travelers a year. The new airport was stretched past its capacity very first year when nine and half million people passed though. In 1967, The City of Atlanta and the airlines began to work on a Master Plan for future development of Atlanta Municipal Airport.
Construction was begun on the world's largest air complex in January 1977 under the administration of mayor Maynard Jackson. It was the largest construction project in the South, costing $500 million. Named for a former Atlanta mayor who did much to promote air travel, the William Berry Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport opened on September 21, 1980, on-time and under budget. It was designed to accommodate up to 55 million passenger a year and covered 2.5 million square feet. In December 1984 a 9,000-foot fourth parallel runway was completed and another runaway and extended to 11,889 feet the next year.
On May 11, 1996, ValuJet Flight 592, which had taken off for Hartsfield from Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida, experienced a fire and crashed into the Florida Everglades, killing all on board.
In 2003 on October 20th, Atlanta's city council voted to change the name from Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, to honor the former mayor who died earlier in the year.
Hartsfield-Jackson International is the chief hub to Delta Air Lines and mostly handles air traffic to other parts of the United States and Canada. Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has international service to Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. It has two terminals where persons check in, the North Terminal and the South Terminal. They link to a main terminal for security screening, before passengers head to Concourse T, or to the underground train.
Six concourses exist for passenger boarding. Moving sidewalks and an underground "people mover" train made by Westinghouse connect the concourses, and the terminals building. Concourse T is attached to the terminal, and was formerly for international flights, before Concourse E was built prior to the 1996 Centennial Summer Olympics.
In July 2003, Mayor Shirley Franklin announced a second international concourse, which will also have its own terminal. The new Concourse F isscheduled to be completed in 2006. A new fifth runway and a consolidated rental car structure is also under construction.
Check-in and baggage claim
Departure and arrival halls
International Concourse E
International Concourse F