727LOVER
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Does This ATL Runway Hold A Record?

Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:23 am

To simplify this, I will use eastbound rwy #s only.

Lets hop back to 1950.

The airport was using the quonset terminal. Just south of the terminal, there was a short runway named 9. In 1952, the airport opened a new parallel runway to the south of 9. Rwy 9 became 9L, the new runway 9R. 9R is todays’s 8R. When they were building the Delta-Capital-Southern concourse in the late 50’s, they had to close 9L. Therefore 9R, no longer having a parallel, became 9.


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Photo © Ellis M. Chernoff
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Jump to the late 60s. By now the 1961 terminal had been in use for several years. By this time, I think, the airport realized it was going to need a new terminal to the south.


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The new terminal would require ATL to have to close the 2 crossing runways, 15-33 and 3-21. The opened a new runway in 1973, I believe. This was a parallel to 9, therefore making 9 become 9L. The new runway being 9R (today’s 9L) Aircraft would land on 9R and then have to make a looooong journey northward to 1961 terminal.


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Around the time of the new terminal, the airport opened a 3rd parallel. Two runways to the south, one to the north, rwy 9L became rwy 8. After the 4th parallel runway opened, rwy 8 became 8R.

So here’s my question. This runway has had 5 names, and I believe none of the changes were due to a magnetic deviation.

9R
9
9L
8
8R

Is that a record?


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Is there any other commerical runway that has had that many names?


Some side notes:

The airport currently has 5 runways, but this is not a record. The airport had 5 back in the 50s.

Also, did the current 9R open before or after the current terminal opened in 1980? If the answer is after, does that mean ATL was operating with just 2 runways for a period.


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VgnAtl747
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2001 3:59 am

RE: Does This ATL Runway Hold A Record?

Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:29 am

Wow you've certainly done your homework here. I don't know the answer to your question, but am certainly impressed with the question.  bigthumbsup 
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IAHFLYR
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RE: Does This ATL Runway Hold A Record?

Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:06 am

Quoting VgnAtl747 (Reply 1):
Wow you've certainly done your homework here. I don't know the answer to your question, but am certainly impressed with the question.

Ditto even more impressive the great pics. Sorry, don't even want to manufacture a guess.
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deltadawg
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RE: Does This ATL Runway Hold A Record?

Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:56 am

Who's on 9L?

No, who's on 9?

What's on 9L?

No, what's on 9?
and who's on 9L?

Huh?

Good history lesson - very interesting!
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727LOVER
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RE: Does This ATL Runway Hold A Record?

Wed Sep 20, 2006 7:57 am

Thanx guys.
But actually the thanx should go to author George Cearley Jr, and his book on ATL. It's an absolutely amazing book, with hundreds of photos from the 20's to, well, at least there 90's. I really wish the guy would author other airports. He has several airline books, but only one other airport: DAL.  Sad
I feel woozy....what did you put in that Pudding Pop?