January 7, 2017 Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport : Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport crews had 93-thousand gallons of de-icing fluid to spray on planes on their 16-pads where planes that parked overnight were de-iced before taking off on Saturday January 7, 2017.The anticipated snowstorm for metro Atlanta and beyond never came, and instead many people woke up Saturday disappointed by the lack of snow and toÊface potentially dangerous icy conditions on the road.Ê Even so, metro Atlanta roads warmed as temperatures rose throughout the morning. Georgia Power said it restored power to 36,000 customers overnight. But as winds kicked up Saturday morning, the number of affected customers roughly doubled in an hour, from about 8,000 at 8 a.m. to more than 15,000. Shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday,ÊGeorgia PowerÕs outage mapÊshowed a smaller number of customers, 14,587, were still without power, after freezing rain and snow swept through the area overnight. JOHN SPINK /JSPINK@AJC.COM
Photo: JOHN SPINK / AJC/JOHN SPINK / AJC
Photo: JOHN SPINK / AJC/JOHN SPINK / AJC

Atlanta airport: Hartsfield-Jackson to add more de-icing pads

The move is aimed at reducing flight cancellations during snowy or icy weather.

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport plans to build more de-icing pads to reduce flight cancellations during snowstorms.

The Atlanta airport plans to build a $50 million south de-icing facility with space for five large planes to be de-iced at once.

When it is finished, the airport will have space for about 20 planes to be de-iced at a time, according to Hartsfield-Jackson interim assistant general manager of planning and development Tom Nissalke. He hopes to start the project next year.

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Video: Mandi Albright/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The goal is for airlines to not have to cancel as many flights during wintry weather. With more de-icing pads, the waits in line for de-icing before takeoff are shorter and airlines can get more planes out per hour.

Back in 2011, the airport had only about 11 de-icing pads, drawing attention as a major chokepoint driving flight cancellations during an ice storm that year. Hartsfield-Jackson then added five de-icing pads completed in late 2015.

The additional south de-icing facility will add more capacity during snowy or icy conditions. “When you see all these cancellations, it’s primarily because there’s not enough de-icing throughput,” Nissalke said.

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