World's busiest airport tightens security: No more loitering at Atlanta’s airport

New security rules at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport have moved past the grace period into enforcement. The new policy, implemented on Monday, places a 24-7 restriction on those who can be on the property

The airport, which continues to hold its title as the world’s busiest airport, wants it to also be the world’s safest airport. Officials are hoping the around-the-clock monitoring of who can and cannot be in the terminal will help ensure the airport's safety. 

"This is a culmination response to a broad swath of issues," said Atlanta City Council member Michael Bond. 

Since January 2022, Atlanta police say officers have been called to investigate more than 900 cases of larceny, burglary, assault, robbery, and shoplifting at the airport. 

"There’ve been incidents where we’ve had some attacks by persons who came into the terminal and atrium areas, we’ve had repeated amounts of shoplifting and other small and petty crimes," Bond said. 

Bond says issues prompted city leaders to act earlier this year. They formed a task force that recommended limiting around-the-clock access at the airport to passengers, workers and other people conducting official business. 

"The airport was already restricted during some nighttime hours…if you were coming into the facility you had to show a reason why you were there…those hours basically have been extended 24 hours a day," Bond said. 

After a 60-day grace period, the change went into effect on Monday. 

"Atlanta police can question you if they believe you’re doing something suspicious or engaged in some activity that is not related to what would be considered a justified reason for being on the property," Bond said. 

While most passengers support the measures, some are concerned it could be used to profile people. 

The domestic and international terminals, the SkyTrain, rental car center, and parking decks are all included in this new policy.