Hartsfield-Jackson’s South economy lot closes

Closure of lot for future parking deck will be a major change for travelers at the domestic terminal

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has closed its popular South economy lot for a construction project, removing about 3,000 parking spaces from use next to the domestic terminal. The move will require many local travelers to alter their routine when headed to the world’s busiest airport.

The closure is part of a series of construction projects aimed at enhancing on-campus airport parking that are forecast to continue through 2034. Hundreds of vehicles remained in the South economy lot on Monday and owners will have a grace period to retrieve them before the start of construction of a new parking deck on-site.

The airport is advising travelers to use park-ride lots as an alternative, including the ATL West deck connected to the terminal via SkyTrain and the ATL Select lot. Airport officials say they are adding staff to “address public concerns” and signs to direct motorists. Other options for travelers include off-airport parking lots that offer shuttle service to the terminal, MARTA, taxis and rideshare services, including Uber and Lyft.

Chaz Grant, who lives in Lawrenceville and arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson on Monday morning, has parked at the airport in the past but now takes Uber.

“With the parking lot closure, I think people should avoid at all costs parking here” at the terminal, Grant said. “There’s lots of other options.

Credit: John Spink

Credit: John Spink

Those planning to park at the airport for trips should consider making an advance parking reservation. The airport offers online reservations for its ATL West deck, ATL Select lot and international parking decks. Many off-airport lots also offer parking reservations.

The North economy lot is still in use, but was already full by Monday morning when the South economy lot closed, according to the airport’s website, which lists parking lot status.

Even before Monday’s closure of the South economy lot, airport parking decks and lots often reached capacity during busy periods, forcing motorists to drive around the airport searching for other lots and spaces while rushing to catch their flights.

Hartsfield-Jackson is closing the South economy lot to build a new parking deck on the site. The new seven-level deck will have 6,700 parking spaces and updated technology including digital parking space availability indicators and ticketless entry and exit.

Credit: Source: Hartsfield-Jackson

Credit: Source: Hartsfield-Jackson

It will take three years to build, and is part of a decade-long parking construction project that started last year.

“I think for the future, this is going to improve how many spaces you have,” said Juliana Teixeira, who lives in Hoschton and arrived back at Hartsfield-Jackson on Monday morning. “But for now, it will be very hard to park.”

Teixeira said she has already noticed that on her recent trips to the airport, the economy lot was “always full.” She said she will try to take MARTA from the Doraville station to the airport in the future.

The South economy lot was open to entering vehicles until Monday at 12:01 a.m., so hundreds of cars remained in the lot.

Those who parked in the South economy lot will now have until Nov. 1 to return and remove their cars, according to Hartsfield-Jackson spokesman Andrew Gobeil. Any cars left in the South economy lot after that date will be moved to an area within the South economy lot, and car owners will be directed to the parking management office to get their vehicles.

Construction on the site will then begin at the start of the month of November.

After the new parking deck is completed on the site of the South economy lot in late 2026, a phased construction project will begin to demolish and reconstruct the existing South and North decks next to the domestic terminal. Those aging decks were originally built in 1980.

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