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They Paved the Runways to Put Up a Parking Lot

They Paved the Runways to Put Up a Parking Lot
Taylor Rains

The continued spread of the coronavirus has taken a toll on the airline industry and has forced carriers to ground hundreds of aircraft. Delta Airlines, in particular, has been using the north end of the Atlanta airport to store its grounded aircraft. However, space is running out, and the company has expanded its parking space to the airport’s runways as well.

Atlanta Runways as Parking Lots

According to Twitter user Kim Paquette, who appears to be a Delta employee, three of the five runways at Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport are being used as parking lots for Delta Airlines. She said in a tweet, “600 of our 900 planes grounded and 3 of 5 runways in the busiest airport in the world are being used as parking lots.”

The images shared clearly show aircraft parked on a taxiway between runways 10/28 and 9R/27L, as well as some parked on runway 10/28. According to Simple Flying, Delta confirmed three runways are being used for parking, while the airport said only runway 10/28 is closed as a result.

Although Atlanta is the world’s busiest airport, Delta holds a large percentage of its air traffic. As of Monday, the airline had suspended 70% of its flights, which significantly reduces the total operations in Atlanta, so the airport should be able to manage with only two runways.

Paris Runway Closures

Atlanta is not the only airport closing runways due to grounded aircraft. Paris Charles De Gaulle (CDG) and Paris Orly (ORY) are also using taxiways and apron space for parking aircraft, which has led to the closure of runways 08R/26L and 08L/26R at CDG and 02/20 at ORY.

View Comments (2)


  1. BC Shelby

    March 25, 2020 at 10:07 am

    …hmm what if a runway is needed for emergency purposes and air freight operations, the latter which is still moving.? Crosswind landings are not only difficult, but can be dangerous If the airlines were smart they’d store aircraft on the tarmac of underutilised airports like KCVG, KMKE, KCLE KMCI and others to keep runways open for critical use.

  2. Dosday

    April 4, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    There is no crosswind runway at Atlanta Airport. All 5 are parallel. They still have at least two runways in operation.

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