The oldest escalators needed work or repairs three times more often than newer units.
Airport officials this month got Atlanta City Council approval for an agreement with the Atlanta Airlines Terminal Corp. worth up to $38 million to cover the third and final phase of upgrades. A total of 38 escalators, 45 elevators and 16 moving walkways will be upgraded, most of them from 1979. The project is being funded through airline-backed bonds.
The work is expected to take until August 2016 to complete. That's because it is done in phases to minimize the number of escalators and elevators out at any one time, according to Jim Drinkard, Hartsfield-Jackson's assistant general manager for planning and development. Taking equipment out of commission can cause inconvenience for travelers, and he said the airport is adding customer service representatives to answer questions and help with crowd control.