Hartsfield-Jackson Sets New Standard in Aviation with First Modular Unit Installation

Tuesday, April 30th, 2024

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) marked a historic milestone in aviation infrastructure April 24 with the placement of the first modular unit for the Concourse D Widening Project.

This groundbreaking move, which involves constructing the concourse modular units offsite and transporting them for assembly a mile across the airfield, showcased the power of collaboration among city officials, federal partners, and leaders across various sectors. This initiative will result in the seamless transformation of ATL’s oldest concourse without disrupting its day-to-day operations. Thursday, April 25, partners involved in the project met to celebrate.

“This project stands as a beacon of what can be achieved when we come together—uniting the vision and efforts of [Atlanta] Mayor Dickens, [Transportation] Secretary Buttigieg, Holder Construction, and all our dedicated partners,” said ATL General Manager Balram “B” Bheodari from the modular construction yard. “Together, we are not only enhancing our facilities but also setting a global standard for innovation and partnership in aviation.”

The day began with a tour of a modular unit in progress, led by Airport Sr. Deputy General Manager of Infrastructure Frank Rucker, alongside Bheodari, Mayor Andre Dickens, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Holder Construction CEO Wayne Wadsworth, and other dignitaries. This tour offered an up-close look at the cutting-edge technology and processes that will define the future of airport expansions.

Mayor Andre Dickens commended the project for its visionary approach and collaborative execution. “Atlanta thrives on challenges, and this expansion at Hartsfield-Jackson is a testament to that spirit,” he said. “Thanks to the collaborative efforts of our teams, partners like Delta Air Lines, and the support from our federal partners under the Biden-Harris Infrastructure Law, we’re able to push forward ambitiously without disrupting our operations.”

The ceremony highlighted the federal government's role in supporting such innovative infrastructure projects. In addressing the crowd gathered for the event, Secretary Buttigieg said, “For a long time we were lamenting the condition of America’s airports. Now, we have the best and most innovative style of construction to deliver world-class terminals to the busiest airport in the world.”

Wadsworth also emphasized the efficiency and innovation of the construction process. “The use of modular units represents a shift in how we approach building on such a significant scale. By constructing components off-site, we ensure minimal disruption and faster completion, setting a new standard for future projects,” he stated.

Jenine Brown from UNITE HERE Local 23, representing thousands of Airport workers, highlighted the community impact and introduced the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

The landmark $1.4 billion project is partially funded by a $40 million grant from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and is indicative of the public/private cooperation sought for in the bill.

Guests touring the modular unit were visibly excited about the future of airport development. The complete transformation of Concourse D will mark a significant milestone for ATL, showcasing a model for airports worldwide. As the project progresses, ATL looks forward to unveiling a modernized Concourse D, ready to meet the demands of the future head-on.