This is good news. Hartsfield’s new runway will come in on schedule and on budget. They’ve done a remarkable job. They really have. I will say I have been confused about the purpose — whether it will be more for takeoffs or landings. But the AJC has done a good job making the case for the runways and its current intended use.
The new runway won’t initially bring more Atlanta flights because no new passenger gates have been added yet. But aviation officials say it will reduce delays that play havoc with airline schedules and passenger travel, especially during poor weather.
Here’s how: Air traffic controllers currently use two of Hartsfield-Jackson’s parallel runways for arrivals and two for departures. The airport typically handles about 98 arrivals an hour at peak times during good weather, but that number falls to 68 an hour during low visibility.
With a fifth runway, controllers can guide planes to three runways at the same time instead of two. That 50-percent capacity increase is expected to raise arrivals as high as 140 an hour in good weather and 100 an hour on gloomy days.
“We don’t expect the new runway to bring more traffic,