Found this, here you guys go (read below for the disasterous first day at the new ATL
The biggest problem confronting controllers is that the fifth runway is 50 feet too close to another runway that also is primarily used for landings. But in bad weather, that older runway will have to be switched to handling takeoffs so the airport can use the new runway and a more distant one for landings.
Early next year, that problem will be solved when new radar is installed on the fifth runway. That will allow — even in bad weather — the fifth runway and the one next to it to handle landings. A total of three runways will be used for landings and two for takeoffs.
"That's going to allow us to land about the same number of airplanes in poor weather conditions that we now land in good weather — and that should cut delays substantially," said Russ Gausman, a Federal Aviation Administration support manager for the Atlanta tower.
Until June 8, however, the fifth runway will only be used for landings in good weather, when pilots can clearly see it. After that, new aeronautical charts will show pilots around the world the information they need to make instrument approaches to the new runway in bad weather.
Once planes touch down on the fifth runway — the farthest one from the terminal — they will have to taxi 15 minutes or more and cross two active runways to get to the gate. At times, controllers will have to divert planes to improvised waiting areas until the path to the terminal is clear.
In an effort to reduce taxi times, controllers plan to tell some arriving pilots to "land and hold short." That sometimes-controversial practice allows ground-bound airplanes at Hartsfield-Jackson to taxi across the end of a runway while another plane lands and comes to a quick stop at least 400 feet short of the runway's end.
Also, in regards to ATL
's new tower that opened at the FAA's instance on on May 6th (stupid managers):
On May 6, 2006, the FAA commissioned the world's tallest air traffic control tower at the world's busiest passenger airport. The agency committed a world-class blunder in opening this facility prematurely, and the FAA put the safety of the traveling public at risk in the process. Letâ€™s examine the issue.
The opening was designed to be a media event, but for air traffic controllers working the facility, it turned out to be an event, all right---a three ring circus.
For starters, the structure is 398 feet tall. When the day shift arrived, they discovered the elevator out of service. Unfortunately, their security cards did not work to access the stairwell either, so they had to wait nearly an hour for someone with an appropriate swipe card to arrive and let them into the stairwell so they could begin the 602-step climb to the top. The skeleton midnight shift worked into the morning waiting for relief. Once the elevator was repaired it was able to function, but only with a technician riding on top of the elevator, pushing two buttons for manual override of the automatic system.
When the day shift finally crested the steps in the worlds newest air traffic control facility, they saw a gleaming tower full of shiny, modern equipment that didn't work. The list of equipment logged out by the FAA for some or all of the first day includes:
TDLS (the digital ATIS)---out of service
EFSTS (the electronic flight strip system)---out of service
/IDS/RVR interface ots
Elevator---out of service
All Ramp tower lines---out of service
API line---out of service
FDIO---out of service
PDC---out of service
Final monitor over ride---malfunctioning
119.3 (Local Control frequency)---out of service
118.7 Main---out of service
IDS---will not populate updates to other IDS Positions
ITWS (Integrated Terminal Weather System)---out of service
121.75 (Ground Control)---out of service
ICMS Aural Alarm---out of service
LLWAS (Low Level Wind Shear Alert System)---out of service
ARMT (Airport Resource Management Tool)---out of service
121.9 main (Ground Control)---out of service
Numerous nuisance alarms throughout the day
Remember now, we aren't talking about Dodge City, Kansas here. We are talking about working live traffic at the world's busiest airport. Without frequencies. Without weather equipment. Without wind shear warnings. Without flight data.
To top that off, there is a loud noise in the background as if a large ventilation fan is running. When asked, management's response was, What noise? Facility management did seek out the source of the droning noise in the background, and reported back that it was the ASDE-X on the roof. If this is the case, this is going to be a major problem. Controllers working in the new facility report the noise to be so loud it is distracting.
Just days before opening the controllers got quick briefings on some of the new equipment and how it works. How to turn on and off localizers, glide slopes and the like. Once in the new facility, personnel discovered that not all employees had been assigned lockers. There are no computers to access the Employee Express system that management requires the employees to use. There have been no life-fire briefings or escape plans discussed or drilled. The break room tables and floor were littered with the morning's celebratory pizza boxes well into the evening, since no one bothered to set up trash cans.
From the new tower you can see clearly into the old tower, where the ATIS, FDIO and LLWAS are all lit up and working. The agency was determined to open the new Atlanta Tower on May 6th, and their obstinance reduced safety while increasing delays. The opening of the new Atlanta Tower was a perfect example of what happens when you put the wrong number of people in the wrong place at the wrong time for the wrong reasons. I have no doubt we will soon be hearing about all the awards given out for a job well done.
At the new Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, DC, a new tower is growing tall out of the prairie, and it is already the subject of much discussion. Rumor has it that many of the newly installed consoles face the wrong direction. Additionally, the FAA apparently wanted to host a press open house not that long ago so the contractor put up some drywall for interior camera shots. The trouble? Apparently they didn't put in the roof or the ceiling, and of course it has since rained. This has created a mold problem in the building before it's first day of occupancy.