Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport is considered the busiest airport on the planet. The airport has expanded over the years to accommodate a large number of flights each year. After several years of growth, it became necessary to expand the airport in order to meet the overwhelming demand. This research paper will address the construction of the fifth runway at the Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The paper will focus on the May 2006 opening of the new runway at the airport. Furthermore, this research paper will highlight the impact that the construction had on the air transport system (Pascoe, 2001).
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The expansion of the Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport and the construction of the fifth runway were as a result of several reasons. To begin with, it was forecasted within the aviation industry that, at the rate at which the airport was growing, it would become necessary to have an extra runway. Additionally, it had become necessary for the airport to acquire a new runway in order to reduce the delays experienced at the airport. There were numerous delays as a result of the many flights that had to utilize the same airport resources at the same time. A new runway would also facilitate better customer service delivery at the airport. Customers would be served more efficiently, and the number of flight delays was bound to reduce with the construction of a new runway (GA, 2006)
The plan to add the fifth runway came about as a result of the foresight by the Atlanta Department of Aviation. The fifth runway cost $1.2 billion to construct. Constructing the fifth runway involved; constructing a runway that is 9000 feet long including its complementary components including the dual north and south as well as the parallel taxi ways. It also encompassed the construction of a 400 Ft Air Traffic Control Tower for the Federal Aviation Administration. Furthermore, it included the construction of a double bridge with the capacity to support a one million pound aircraft. Other components of the construction included underground utilities, lighting, and mitigation of wetlands and the relocation of roadways as well as high voltage power transmission lines (GA, 2006). In its construction, the fifth runway needed approximately 220,000 cubic yards of pure concrete. Additionally, up to 27 million cubic yards of soil needed to be transported to the runway’s construction site from a different location. However, despite the magnitude of the project and the limits that had to be stretched, the fifth runway was completed on schedule and was opened on 27th May 2006.
The fifth runway is credited as America’s most important runway. This is due to its complexity that is unrivaled the world over. The construction of the fifth runway has significantly impacted the aviation transportation system. To begin with, the fifth runway is among the few runways in the world that can comfortably accommodate the simultaneous landing of triple aircrafts. Additionally, the construction of the fifth runway came along with the construction of a runway bridge that holds the world record for its length. It will, therefore, ease the flow of air traffic across the entire national air transportation system. Despite the fact that the fifth runway was an engineering feat, it has set the standards for other metropolitan airports to emulate in future. The fifth runway made travelling much easier and more convenient than ever before.
GA, A. (2006). Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport Celebrates the Opening of Fifth Runway. Web.
Pascoe, D. (2001). Airspaces. Scotland, ED: Reaktion.