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Hartsfield-Jackson Airport Passenger Drop-off Canopies

A dramatic entrance created with surgical precision minimizes costs and allows for unhindered operations

Project Facts

Location Atlanta, Georgia
Owner Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Size 95,000 SF
Cost $125 million
Status Completed 2019


Once the Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal opened in 2012, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport desired to bring older areas of the airport up to the standard of the new terminal. A central feature of these improvements is twin 3,000-ton, three-football-field-long canopies that float over eight lanes of traffic on the north and south sides of the domestic terminal.

About the project

The pipe truss canopies, which are covered with a translucent ETFE film, will offer protection from the elements for passengers at the curbside drop-off and pick-up areas. Just as important, the canopies with create a dramatic entrance to the main terminal. The canopies are the first stage of an estimated $6 billion, 10-year expansion project of the world’s busiest airport.

One challenge faced by the team was the need to erect the new canopies above an existing baggage claim area that had to remain operational throughout construction. The capacity of the existing structure limited the size and position of construction cranes as well as shore tower locations and bracing schemes. We analyzed available crane and shoring options and selected a combination which could be used to safely erect the new canopy while not overloading the existing structure.

Walter P Moore provided erection engineering for the massive canopies, and our Enclosure Engineering group also served as the engineer of record for the ETFE membrane. Ultimately Walter P Moore’s erection engineers found a creative and surgically-precise means of securely erecting this impressive canopy while minimizing additional construction costs and allowing airport operations to continue unhindered below the site.