New Hartsfield-Jackson terminal raises new questions

With two years to go until Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport’s international terminal opening date, airport managers are getting down to the nitty-gritty details of planning how the new terminal will function for travelers.

A key issue yet to be resolved: How passengers arriving at the new terminal will get from there to MARTA and rental cars, which are on the opposite end of the airport.

One of the main benefits of the international terminal is that passengers bound for Atlanta will not have to re-check their baggage after they clear customs at Hartsfield-Jackson, as they do now so they can ride the airport train to the main terminal.

But they will be coming out into the public area of the international terminal, and airport officials say they are working on how to get people to the MARTA station in the existing terminal, as well to the consolidated rental car center on the other side of I-85.

Airport officials, who celebrated the "topping out" of the international terminal's basic steel structure on Tuesday, are considering a number of options to ease the process of getting to ground transportation.

"We're contemplating the solution to that," said Dan Molloy, assistant general manager of planning and development for Hartsfield-Jackson.

"We may have a shuttle service," but it hasn't been decided yet, he said. For rental cars, one option is a satellite rental car area for the international terminal, he said. A team was recently formed to work out those decisions.

The new international terminal will have some parking.