By Maria-Jose Subiria
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has passed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) certification inspection with a zero discrepancy rating, the highest rating a U.S. commercial airport can receive, according to Katena Carvajales, media relations manager at the airport.
FAA conducts the certification inspection annually, she said.
Kathleen Bergen, communications manager for the FAA's Southeast region, said Hartsfield-Jackson's inspection was conducted April 26-29. The airport was verbally notified of the rating level, and will receive a letter, which represents the official notification to be placed on record, said Bergen.
It is not uncommon for major U.S. airports to receive a zero discrepancy rating on their certification inspections, added Bergen.
Carvajales said Atlanta's airport meets or exceeds all requirements under FAA Regulation Part 139, which governs the certification and operation of all commercial airports throughout the nation.
"We are proud to earn the zero discrepancy rating and are particularly proud that the FAA noted our adherence to high standards, while operating the world's busiest airport," said Robert Kennedy, assistant general manager for operations, maintenance and security at Hartsfield-Jackson.
"Each day, the airport's professional team invests hundreds of man-hours to maintain the highest levels of airport readiness," he said. "Coordinated efforts by the Department of Aviation's Fire, Maintenance, Operations and Planning and Development units were instrumental in ensuring the successful completion of this important annual inspection."
Carvajales said all of the airport's airfield operations were inspected, including self-inspection programs, pavement management for runways and taxiways, airfield markings and lighting, training and inspection records, fueling inspection and records, wildlife mitigation, airport certification manuals and emergency preparedness.
"Commercial service airports that accept scheduled passenger-carrying flights of aircraft with more than 9 passenger seats, and unscheduled (charter) passenger-carrying flights of aircraft with at least 31 passenger seats, must be certificated by the FAA under Part 139 of the Federal Aviation Regulations," said Bergen, in a written statement.
During Hartsfield-Jackson's certification inspection, the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department, Airport Section, responded to two airfield emergency drills, with a specified amount of fire equipment reaching the midpoint of the farthest runway, in less than 120 seconds, said Carvajales. Part 139 requires airports to complete the drills within 180 seconds, she said.
"The FAA's rating reflects the dedication of our women and men who oversee daily operations at Hartsfield-Jackson," said Ben DeCosta, aviation general manager at the airport. "The report also reaffirms our absolute commitment to operate an efficient, safe and secure airport for the millions of annual passengers."