A rendering of a renovated gate area at Hartsfield-Jackson. The airport plans an expansion to add new gates on Concourse T.

Hartsfield-Jackson preps for Concourse T extension

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is striking a contract to build five more gates on the north end of Concourse T, with the first phase of work expected to cost $54 million.

Airport general manager Roosevelt Council said Hartsfield-Jackson needs more gates to add capacity. The airport’s master plan said more domestic gates are needed by 2021.

“Our passenger counts continue to grow,” Council said. “It’s also about bringing in more competition.”

In recent months, a squeeze in gate space has affected JetBlue Airways, which is seeking more gates after launching Atlanta-Boston service earlier this year. JetBlue had planned to add New York, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale as destinations from Atlanta later this year.

New York-based JetBlue said it has struggled to get the needed space. Council said JetBlue recently proposed a new schedule to start in early 2018, which will require airport review.

The Concourse T gates are not expected to be complete until 2021.

The airport is seeking Atlanta City Council approval for a contract on the project with a joint venture of Skanska USA Building, New South Construction, Synergy Development Partners and FS 360. It was one of four joint ventures competing for the contract, along with KDLP, Holder-Moody-Bryson and Atlanta Aviation Builders.

The council’s transportation committee voted unanimously in favor of the measure Wednesday.

Preparation work is expected to start later this year, Council said.

In order to make room for the Concourse T extension, which will curve slightly to the west to avoid interfering with a runway protection zone, the airport must relocate the North Economy parking exit plaza, a segment of the Terminal North exit road and an airport fire station. A new fire station must be built nearby before the existing one and other facilities can be demolished to make way for the new gates.

A Delta ground handling equipment shop will also need to be relocated, and the Concourse T extension will also displace some parking. The airport is building an ATL West parking deck next to the Georgia International Convention Center to help make up for lost parking spaces, reachable by SkyTrain.

The money will come from airport funds, including commercial financing and short-term financing.

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