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.

VIDEO: How much do you know about Atlanta's airport? Learn more about Hartsfield-Jackson International here. (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.

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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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