The new deck will stand seven levels tall and feature approximately 6,700 parking spaces once completed. Construction will officially begin on Nov. 1. Photo by Donnell Suggs/The Atlanta Voice

Starting today, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport will be short of roughly 3,000 accessible parking spaces.

The world’s busiest airport is shuttering its South Economy Lot to the public for the next few years to start construction on the latest phase of its multi-step expansion project: a new South parking deck.

The new deck will stand seven levels tall and feature approximately 6,700 parking spaces once completed. Construction will officially begin on Nov. 1.

Jan Lennon, the airport’s deputy general manager for operations, said the South Parking Deck is the “most significant parking endeavor” that Hartsfield-Jackson has ever attempted.

“In terms of enhanced parking assets at the airport, the construction of the ATL West Deck was huge. But the new South Deck is even larger by about 20 percent,” Lennon said. “We think our customers will be very pleased with the technology included and how user-friendly the experience will be.”

The new deck’s technology will allow passengers ticketless entry and exit and will be able to digitally track parking availability. A pedestrian bridge will connect the seven-level deck to the airport’s domestic terminal.

ATLNext, the initiative behind Hartsfield-Jackson’s revitalization project, credits the decision to replace the airport’s existing North and South parking decks to deterioration and the need to increase parking options to better serve the airport’s growing demand.

“These decks are currently filled to capacity at times during more than six months of each year,” ATLNext’s website says. “The construction of new North and South decks, along with the additional ATL West deck and Sullivan Road Park-Ride lot, will allow ATL to accommodate more passenger volume and provide significantly improved access to the airport.”

According to official airport statistics, the Domestic North and South Economy lots offer a combined 7,300 parking spaces to the more than 275,000 passengers that Hartsfield-Jackson serves on a daily basis. More than 10,000 additional spaces are dispersed across the airport’s existing covered decks and another 9,100 spaces across its Park-Ride and Park-Ride Reserve lots.

With nearly 10% of Hartsfield-Jackson’s official parking to be rendered unavailable for the next three years, airport representatives say to expect traffic patterns and flows to shift around the 4,700-acre complex as customers adjust to the temporary closure.

Representatives also recommend that passengers driving to the airport make use of other available parking options surrounding the terminals during the period of construction, particularly the ATL Select lot, the park-ride lots and the ATL West parking deck. Customers can reserve a parking space at least 24 hours prior to arrival inside the airport’s International Hourly and Park & Ride lots, ATL Select and the ATL West deck.

MARTA trains also transport flyers to and from the airport, with Hartsfield-Jackson serving as the final stop on the light rail’s Red service line.

The first phase of the South Parking Deck is scheduled to be completed in December of 2026.