The rapid fire pace of ATL
ATC has them issuing position and hold clearances before the aircraft rolling has even departed the runway - that way there's always someone ready to go as soon as ATC or spacing issues allow the plane to be released. Add the mix of various aircraft types from ATR's (and until relatively recently EMB120's) to 747's and everything in between and it's just impossible to "launch" everyone without a hold if for nothing else other than spacing.
But the notion that they always have you position and hold isn't the case. Late at night (I'm a FF
on the last ATR flight from ATL
to GNV) you usually get cleared directly for takeoff without even holding short of the runway.
But even at busy times controllers do some interesting things to keep the traffic moving efficiently whenever possible. It was a 1730 departure on an ATR72 and we were taxing from D concourse via Mike to 27R when all of a sudden we crossed 27R at Kilo then taxied via November to Juliet and took off from 27L. There must have been a break in the arrivals because we had to have been something like #15 for takeoff from 27R. I'm sure that move saved us at least 25 minutes.
A couple of weeks before that, we were headed for a 9L
departure via Mike when we were cleared via Tango and November to 9R
. Again it saved us a ton of time during rush hour.
KATL airport chart here: http://www.answers.com/topic/katl-diagram-png
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.