City Council members have toured the airport to see the issue for themselves

Hartsfield-Jackson puts up temporary walls around food court

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has put up temporary walls around the domestic terminal food court, as it tries to encourage social distancing while an increasing number of homeless people flock to the mostly empty terminal to sleep.

According to Atlanta airport spokeswoman Elise Durham, the walls are a temporary solution to help with social distancing by discouraging people from sitting in the food court.

04/14/2020 - Atlanta, Georgia - Individuals order food inside the domestic terminal food court at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Tuesday, April 14, 2020. The temporary wall behind them (right) is covering the dining area which the airport closed recently to encourage social distancing. (ALYSSA POINTER / ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)
Photo: Alyssa Pointer/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM

Many concessions have closed throughout the airport. Concourse E is closed as well as part of Concourse C, Durham said.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told City Council members last week that the airport also removed seating in the domestic terminal atrium to encourage social distancing to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

04/14/2020 - Atlanta, Georgia - A temporary wall is set up in the atrium inside the domestic terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Tuesday, April 14, 2020. (ALYSSA POINTER / ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)
Photo: Alyssa Pointer/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM

Under normal circumstances, the airport has 100 to 150 homeless people in the airport on colder nights.

By late March, Hartsfield-Jackson General Manager John Selden was saying there were as many as 300 people in the terminal overnight.

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About the Author

Kelly Yamanouchi
Kelly Yamanouchi
Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.
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