My Revised Guide to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (KATL)

Your Way Around Atlanta Airport!

A Gtmkm98 Airport Guide - Inspired by Other Guides across the Community!


Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is well-known as Delta’s main hub; and until this year, the world’s busiest airport.

Its convenient location right in the center of the southeast United States makes it perfect for flights in virtually any direction (from Africa to Asia). And it is well-suited for that task, with five runways and plenty of aircraft room - for aircraft from the X-Cub to the A380.

Unfortunately, this airport is a good hundred miles away from top-tier busy in Infinite Flight - only achieving realistic capacity once to my knowledge in Infinite Flight (back last year during a Friday Night Flight). Typically, there are only two or three aircraft around the field at one time - unless there is ATC. It is a very unfortunate state for such a prominent airport. The intention of this guide (now revised for your viewing pleasure) is to fix such issues and misconceptions commonly seen around this beast of an airport. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

(NOTE: This picture is facing south)


Passenger Terminals

Right in the center of the airport is the passenger area. There are seven concourses here - all of which are used by Delta with a few other airlines sprinkled in. The airport uses a highly convenient satellite concourse system, allowing for quick shuttling of aircraft from the runways to the concourses.

Domestic Arrivals/Departures are serviced at the western concourses (T - D); International Arrivals/Departures are serviced at the eastern concourses (E - F).


You can use this link to find an extremely convenient airport diagram and more:

ATL - Hartsfield - Jackson Atlanta International Airport | SkyVector


Airlines at Each Concourse

image

Domestic Concourses

Concourse T
Airlines
American Airlines (North End)
United Airlines (North End)
Delta Air Lines (South End)
Concourse A
Airlines
Delta Air Lines (All Gates)
Concourse B
Airlines
Delta Air Lines (All Gates)
Concourse C
Airlines
Delta Air Lines (North End)
Southwest Airlines (South End)
Concourse D
Airlines
American Airlines (North End - Some Flights)
Delta Connection (North End)
Delta Air Lines (South End)
Spirit Air Lines (South End)
Frontier Airlines (South End)
Alaska Airlines (South End)

International Concourses

Concourse E
Airlines
Boutique Air
jetBlue
Delta Air Lines
Concourse F
Airlines
Delta Airlines
British Airways
Lufthansa
Turkish Airlines
Air Canada
WestJet
KLM
Air France
Korean Air
Qatar Airways
Virgin Atlantic

Cargo Terminals

North Cargo Area
Airlines
FedEx
UPS
Western Cargo
Amazon Air
South Cargo Area
Airlines
AeroLogic
AirBridgeCargo
Asiana Cargo
ASL Airlines Belgium
CAL Cargo Air Lines
CargoLux
Cathay Pacific Cargo
China Airlines Cargo
China Cargo Airlines
DHL Aviation
EVA Air Cargo
Garuda Cargo
Korean Air Cargo
Lufthansa Cargo
Qatar Airways Cargo
Turkish Airlines Cargo

Runways/Traffic Routes

Atlanta Airport has five runways, all five of which are parallel/on the same heading (95/275) - although they use different numbers. They all have different uses in each flow, which will be explained later on.

Runway 8L/26R

The northernmost runway at the airport, this runway is primarily used for arrivals from the northerly directions in west flow.

On the 8L end, the runway is Category III ILS equipped, RNAV (RNP) equipped, and RNAV (GPS) equipped.

The 26R end, on the other hand, is SA Category II ILS equipped, RNAV (RNP) equipped, and RNAV (GPS) equipped.

Unless assigned by ATC, do not takeoff on this runway - please and thank you!

Runway 8R/26L

To the south of Runway 8L/26R is this runway, primarily used for departures.

On the 8R end, this runway is Category I ILS equipped and RNAV (GPS) equipped. This runway is only used for PRM Landings.

On the 26L end, this runway is Category I ILS equipped and RNAV (GPS) equipped. Just like the other end, this runway is only used for PRM Landings.

Runway 9L/27R

This is the longest runway at the airport, at over 12000 feet. As such, it is primarily used for departures.

On the 9L end, this runway is Category I ILS equipped and RNAV (GPS) equipped. It is only used for PRM and heavy landings.

On the 27R end, this runway is Category I ILS equipped and RNAV (GPS) equipped. It is only used for PRM and heavy landings.

Runway 9R/27L

This runway is just south of runway 9L/27R, and is primarily used for northerly arrivals in east flow.

On the 9R end, this runway is Category III ILS equipped and RNAV (GPS) equipped.

However, on the 27L end, this runway is Category II ILS equipped and RNAV (GPS) equipped.

Runway 10/28

The newest runway at Atlanta, this runway does double duty - primarily servicing all southerly arrivals for either flow. In triples departure flows, this runway serves departures too.

On the 10 end, this runway is Category III ILS equipped, RNAV (RNP) equipped, and RNAV (GPS) equipped.

However, on the 28 end, this runway is Category II ILS equipped, RNAV (RNP) equipped, and RNAV (GPS) equipped.

Traffic Routes

Departures (East Flow)

Runway 8R

Runway 9L

Runway 10

Departures (West Flow)

Runway 26L

Runway 27R

Runway 28

Arrivals

West Flow


Red = Runway 26R; Yellow = Runway 27L; Blue = Runway 28

East Flow


Red = Runway 8L; Yellow = Runway 9R; Blue = Runway 10

Note: Cargo traffic routes are not included on every picture as it would cause picture issues.


SIDs/STARs

SIDs and STARs are not just paramount at Alanta, they are essential. As stated on the RNAV SID AAUP page (Attention All Users), there are formal procedures and structure to each SID - not just flying the route. The AAUP pages can be found here:

Part I

00026DPAAUP (skyvector.com)

Part II

00026DPAAUP_C (skyvector.com)

Here is the general page for all KATL procedures:
ATL - Hartsfield - Jackson Atlanta International Airport | SkyVector

SIDs

Atlanta uses classic RNAV SIDs, featuring transitions from each runway into a merged RNAV track. There is a SID known at this time as the Atlanta One SID, but it is not used as a primary SID aside from use by Turboprops.

There are two sub-flows at KATL (aside from east and west): Doubles and Triples - Doubles is two departure runways and Triples is three departure runways.

SID Name Named After Serves Notes
ZELAN4 Unknown All Northerly Destinations RNAV (RNP) SID for Runway 27R; ATC Assigned for Turbojets Only
WIGLE2 Unknown All Southerly Destinations RNAV SID for East Flow; ATC Assigned for Turbojets Only
VARNM2 Unknown Cleveland, Detroit; Great Circle Routes to Asia Expect Runway 26L/8R for Doubles and Triples.
PADGT2 Unknown Pittsburgh, Louisville, Knoxville, Charleston (WV) Expect Runway 26L/8R for Doubles and Triples.
SMKEY2 The Smoky Mountains Cincinnati, Toronto, Montreal Expect Runway 26L/8R for Doubles and Triples.
PLMMR2 Unknown Washington DC-Area Airports, Newark, Philadelphia Expect Runway 27R/9L for Doubles and 9L/28 for Triples.
JACCC2 Unknown West Europe, Boston, New York - JFK Expect Runway 27R/9L for Doubles and 9L/28 for Triples.
PHIIL3 Phil Niekro (Braves) Lagos, Norfolk, Raleigh-Durham Expect Runway 27R/9L for Doubles and 9L/28 for Triples.
GAIRY2 Unknown Charleston, Wilmington, Johannesburg Expect Runway 27R/9L for Doubles and 9L/28 for Triples.
VRSTY2 The Varsity Drive-In Jacksonville, Caribbean Airports, San Juan Expect Runway 27R/9L for Doubles and 27R/10 for Triples.
SMLTZ2 John Smoltz (Braves) Havana, Jamaica, Ft. Myers Expect Runway 27R/9L for Doubles and 27R/10 for Triples.
BANNG2 Unknown Orlando, Miami, Key West Expect Runway 27R/9L for Doubles and 27R/10 for Triples.
HAALO2 Unknown Quito, Panama City (Both FL and Panama), Cancun Expect 27R/9L for Doubles and 27R/10 for Triples.
POUNC2 Unknown Guatemala, Ciudad de México, Guayaquil Expect 26L/8R for Doubles and 27R/10 for Triples.
KAJIN2 New Orleans (Cajun) New Orleans, Houston-Area Airports, San Diego Expect 26L/8R for Doubles and 27R/10 for Triples.
NASSA2 NASA Dallas-Fort Worth, Phoenix, Los Angeles Expect 26L/8R for Doubles and Triples.
CUTTN2 Unknown San Francisco, Las Vegas, Denver Expect 26L/8R for Doubles and Triples.
PENCL2 Unknown Seattle, Salt Lake City, Anchorage Expect 26L/8R for Doubles and Triples.
Atlanta One Atlanta Airport All Turboprop Departures

TURBOJETS: *After departure, accelerate to 250 kts ASAP and strictly follow the tracks shown on the SID plate. *
TURBOPROPS: *Operate in a manner that will result in the best forward speed and climb rate. *

Props will maintain 4000 after departure until cleared higher, and Jets will maintain 10000 after departure until cleared to filed altitude (regardless of SID) or flight time reaches ten minutes.

STARs

Atlanta primarily uses RNAV STARs with a few non-RNAV STARs mixed in (these are slowly being phased out over time). These STARs form a group of ‘Gates’ of sorts into the airport, with transitions rendering them available for virtually any airport and direction.

Below, you will see a guide of the STARs and where they serve.

RNAV STARs

STAR Name Named After Serves Notes
CHPPR1 Chipper Jones (Braves) Great Circle Routes from Asia, Seattle, Salt Lake City Use MTHEW Transition only for this STAR when possible. Select 8L Route for East Flow, 26R Route for West Flow.
GLAVN1 Tom Glavine (Braves) San Francisco, Las Vegas, Denver, Los Angeles Use RUSSA Transition only for this STAR when possible. Select 9R Route/DFINS Approach Transition for East Flow, 26R Route for West Flow.
ONDRE1 Unknown Toronto, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh Select 26R Route for West Flow; 8L Route for East Flow.
OZZZI1 Unknown West Europe, New York-Area Airports, Charlotte, Washington DC Airports Select 27L/ROMMM Approach Transition for West Flow; 8L Route for East Flow.
JJEDI2/SITTH2 Star Wars Lagos, Johannesburg, Caribbean, East South America Select JJEDI2 for East Flow; SIITH2 for West Flow.
GNDLF2/HOBTT2 LOTR/The Hobbit South America, Houston, New Orleans, West South America Select GNDLF2 for East Flow; HOBBT2 for West Flow.

Non-RNAV STARs

Name Serves
Rome 6 Northwest Destinations
LaGrange 5 Southwest Destinations
WHINZ4 Northeast Destinations

Use of IAPs

Due to its parallel runway layout, Atlanta’s primary kind of approaches are Visual and ILS (typically performed under PRM Conditions). Since PRM approaches are not listed or even existent in Infinite Flight, they are of no worry to you - the innocent reader.

IMG_E0690

It’s not as bad as it looks.

Approach Type Frequency How They Are Used
Visual Common Commonly used due to runway layout, performed via vectors.
ILS Common Commonly done with PRM guidelines, easily done due to runway layout.
RNAV (GPS) Fairly Common Also used often with PRM guidelines, easily done due to runway layout.
RNAV (RNP) Uncommon Unfortunately, the runway layout and complex airspace of Atlanta does not allow for many RNAV (RNP) approaches to take place.

Thank you for staying on the tram for the whole ride! It’s great to see some survivors. Feel free to message me if there are any issues with the guide, and I will correct or address said issues. Thanks!

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Thank you for stopping by!!

14 Likes

Great guide! Hopefully we see ATL in 3D before the end of the decade. ATL is located in the heart of Braves Country, which is why…

And as a bonus…

  • All photos do not belong to me :)
2 Likes

Varsity is actually really good. I should do one for CLT but will basically be mostly "DO NOT USE 5/23 FAA Said so

1 Like

This is a great guide! Atlanta is a really fun airport, and I hope it goes 3D soon. I love flying in IRL and just wandering around watching the planes :)

Few things I thought I’d mention about the guide, though, particularly with the concourses:

-American does fly out of T north, but some AA flights use D north

-JetBlue uses concourse E

-Boutique I believe uses E, as their flights leave from the headstands next to concourse E

-You’re missing Frontier, which also uses the south end of concourse D

-Alaska also uses D South

Great guide, just thought I’d point that out. You for sure put a ton of work into this guide, great job!

1 Like

@NYFLFlyer22 Thank you so much for your input! Information like that is always welcome and has been inputted into the guide as we speak! Feel free to discuss anything you like or see in the chat!