Atlanta air traffic

Old Jun 3, 19, 4:26 pm
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Atlanta air traffic

I live in Georgia and go through Hartsfield multiple times a year. Am staying at the Marriott Airport tonight as I usually do before going to India. My window view is showing the vast number of take offs each few minutes with some times planes from both runways side by side. Yes, Atlanta is the most busy airport. It is mind boggling.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 5:21 pm
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Arguably ATL is the most efficient airport ammongst AOS (airports of size)..

I always question to what extent that was pure luck. Did they realize back in the 70s that the then common spoke system has issues? Or were they just trying to fit it in the space so went the T-A-B-C-D linear setup? Do not know.

45 years later the only thing they really missed was the huge expansion in international flight. Back in the 70s, ATL international was "regional". True long haul was via the international gateways, not ATL. Even so, the international expansion has gone well, other than the groundside I<>D that sucks.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 5:24 pm
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Originally Posted by exwannabe View Post
Arguably ATL is the most efficient airport ammongst AOS (airports of size)..
100% true.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 6:30 pm
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And it might not be there in its current form if Birmingham did not "fumble" it away...
https://www.cbs42.com/news/cbs-42-in...lta/1180005047
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Old Jun 3, 19, 6:47 pm
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ATL is by far the most efficient airport I can think of that is very large. DTW is pretty good as well.

The flow of traffic, runway and taxiway ops are great. Just hope for no thunderstorms.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 6:55 pm
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Originally Posted by exwannabe View Post
I always question to what extent that was pure luck. Did they realize back in the 70s that the then common spoke system has issues? Or were they just trying to fit it in the space so went the T-A-B-C-D linear setup? Do not know.
Great question. Would love to know more about that myself.

It is remarkable what happens at ATL every day, if you step back and think about it. They do a superb job there overall. Considering all the renovations yet I never really was inconvenienced in any way.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 8:38 pm
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ATL is definitely quite efficient, and I think a fair part of it's success while continuing to grow is the end around taxiway on Runway 8R. It saves hundreds of runway crossings a day, and those crossings can take quite long at other airports like JFK.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 1:44 am
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The more I pass through other large to mega airports, the more I come to appreciate the ATL (well except for those summer thunderstorms)
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Old Jun 4, 19, 3:43 am
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As ATL is my home airport.. I too can say they do a great job..and of course the best part is that most of AA flights are out of the T gates.. which of course mean no "plane train"
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Old Jun 4, 19, 7:57 am
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Originally Posted by fotographer View Post
As ATL is my home airport.. I too can say they do a great job..and of course the best part is that most of AA flights are out of the T gates.. which of course mean no "plane train"
What? I like the plane train. Maybe just to see all the people that don't heed the warnings to hold on and then they almost fall over when it starts to move.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 8:24 am
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Just rode to E gates and saw several people almost fall. Of course, most of them looked like vacationers.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 8:36 am
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Delta is, by far, the best large hub to change gates IMHO. It doesn't matter if you are the farthest away from where you need to go, with the plane train and just walking it should never take more than 20 minutes to get where you need to depart. Plus, for a large hub, you don't wait in line for takeoff as long as other hubs (Phoenix, Charlotte and Chicago come to mind).
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Old Jun 4, 19, 8:52 am
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Originally Posted by exwannabe View Post
Arguably ATL is the most efficient airport ammongst AOS (airports of size)..

I always question to what extent that was pure luck. Did they realize back in the 70s that the then common spoke system has issues? Or were they just trying to fit it in the space so went the T-A-B-C-D linear setup? Do not know.
I also think they got really lucky with the timing of ATL. Had it been earlier, it's likely they wouldn't have gone with 4 parallel runways (did it always have 4?) and now a 5th. Back then, many airports had crosswind runways (i.e. ORD), but with the advent of the jet age, planes became a lot more crosswind tolerant. There are still many major airports in the US that are constrained due to crossing crosswind runways. SFO, LGA, BOS, DCA, etc.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 9:01 am
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Originally Posted by HDQDD View Post
I also think they got really lucky with the timing of ATL. Had it been earlier, it's likely they wouldn't have gone with 4 parallel runways (did it always have 4?) and now a 5th. Back then, many airports had crosswind runways (i.e. ORD), but with the advent of the jet age, planes became a lot more crosswind tolerant. There are still many major airports in the US that are constrained due to crossing crosswind runways. SFO, LGA, BOS, DCA, etc.
The northernmost runway was built in the 1980's.
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Old Jun 4, 19, 9:29 am
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Originally Posted by exwannabe View Post
Arguably ATL is the most efficient airport ammongst AOS (airports of size)..

I always question to what extent that was pure luck. Did they realize back in the 70s that the then common spoke system has issues? Or were they just trying to fit it in the space so went the T-A-B-C-D linear setup? Do not know.
The main portion of ATL was designed by an Atlanta architectural firm named Stephens & Wilkinson (now S&W Architects). Even 40 years on, it is a marvel of efficiency. The only (minor) change that would have made it better would have been wider concourses to accommodate moving walkways.

Look at all of the airport terminals around the world designed by big "name" architecture firms like Norman Foster & Associates or Richard Rogers Partnership/Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, etc (HKG, PEK, the never-built MEX, LHR T5). They are glamorous and glitzy, and they get a lot of press, especially in the design industry. But they don't work nearly as efficiently as ATL. Stephens & Wilkinson designed a giant factory for moving a LOT of people, and they totally succeeded.
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