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.
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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