The world's busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, is now even bigger as it opens its new international terminal that's being touted as the city's "new front door" for the world. The $1.4 billion terminal adds an additional 12 gates to an airport that already has 195. But local officials say the new terminal, titled the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal, is necessary to keep Atlanta and its airport at the forefront of global aviation.
Southwest will be making good use of the new terminal as it expands in Atlanta and is looking to expand internationally. The new terminal features soaring glass windows that give passengers views of the airfield throughout the terminal. Even at the check-in counters, passengers can watch takeoffs and landings as counter agents process their reservations. It also has a separate entrance, which will be the airport's second, symbolizing the "new front door." Adding a second entrance is designed to help reduce airport lines by funneling international passengers through the terminal. Best of all the design eliminates the requirement for Atlanta-bound passengers to "re-check" their checked luggage after customs and pick it up at baggage claim. They will be able to keep their checked bags and exit the airport after clearing customs and immigration. The new gates will free up other gates for domestic traffic.