By Special to the Daily World
Mayor Kasim Reed announced recently that the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will open on May 16.
“The opening of the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal is a major milestone for Hartsfield-Jackson airport and the City of Atlanta,” Reed said. “The international terminal will strengthen Atlanta’s position as the capital of the Southeast and a vital global gateway for the United States. Our city has long been a preferred destination for international business and tourism, and I look forward to May 16 when we greet travelers from around the world in this new, state-of-the-art terminal.”
The opening of the international terminal will coincide with record numbers of international passengers and flight operations at Hartsfield-Jackson. In 2011, Hartsfield-Jackson welcomed 9.86 million international passengers and managed 68,781 international flight operations (takeoffs and landings). The Federal Aviation Administration estimates that Atlanta will handle more than 13 million international passengers by 2015.
“The Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal has a focus on efficiency and customer-friendly design, so it will serve our international guests well now and in the future,” said Aviation General Manager Louis Miller.
Planning, design and construction of the international terminal project created about 3,000 jobs. It will take about 1,500 people to manage, operate and maintain the international terminal complex, creating as many as 1,000 jobs.
Construction of the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal and its 12-gate concourse began in summer 2008. The facility connects with the existing international concourse, creating a world-class, 40-gate travel complex.
The international terminal will eliminate the need for Atlanta-bound passengers to recheck their baggage. Passengers will access the international terminal via I-75 at Exit 239.
On a separate note, Reed also signed the new vendors for the contracts with the Atlanta Airport into law earlier this week.
Fulton County Superior Judge Cynthia Wright denied a request for an injunction by four losing proponents to block the city of Atlanta from signing airport concessions contracts.
Losing proponents SSP America Inc., Midfield Concessions Enterprises Inc., Take-Off Concessions LLC and Atlanta Airport Restaurants LLC all tried unsuccessfully to prevent the city from entering into agreements with the winning proponents. Shortly after Judge Wright issued a order to deny the injunction, Reed signed the contracts, allowing the construction of food and beverage concessions in the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal to proceed for a spring 2012 opening.
The opening of the terminal, complete with necessities and amenities for the traveling public, is critical to the continued success of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as the world’s busiest passenger airport and as the No. 1 economic engine in the city and metropolitan region, the mayor said. The contracts will also rejuvenate the current food and beverage options in the existing terminal and concourses.