Located in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is the busiest and most efficient passenger airport in the United States, with roughly 6% of all U.S. enplanements occurring at ATL. While icing conditions are not something that frequently occur at ATL, it can still be a concern and something that airport management wanted to ensure that they were able to adequately handle should the occasion arise. When operations slow at ATL, the rest of the country is impacted. To avoid that scenario, ATL began an improvement project which included expanding its deicing capabilities by adding a new $147 million South Deicing Complex.
Planning for the South Deicing Complex began around 2016. At that time, ATL had 17 deicing pads. After consulting its carriers, ATL determined that additional deicing capacity was necessary. Some of the last land available for development on ATL’s 4,700 acres was on the south side of the airfield. That was also the only option for the large footprint the project required. The new deicing administration building and tank farm were constructed along the south of the aprons, with access to Airport Loop Road.
Existing pavement made construction challenging because of differing elevations and grades. Much of the existing pavement needed to be removed and reconstructed to ensure one contiguous ramp with 200,000 square yards of concrete. From a grade perspective, the northwest corner of the ramp is about 15 feet higher than the southeast corner. As a result, an underdrain solution was required that could handle the additional runoff safely and efficiently while meeting FAA load requirements. An A-2000™ PVC underdrain solution was incorporated into the improvement plans to account for this ramp from the runway to the newly constructed deicing complex. The total length of the underdrain system required was 24,500 LF with diameters of 6-inch and 8-inch A-2000™ PVC – able to exceed the durability and service life of HDPE sanitary sewer pipe and drainage pipe while providing material stiffness up to six times greater than HDPE.