Atlanta Maintains Title of World’s Busiest Airport
By Burt Carey
Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport remains the world’s busiest based on passenger traffic in 2015, according to a report released this week by the Airports Council International.
Atlanta’s airline passenger traffic increased 5.5 percent in 2015 to a record of more than 101.4 million passengers. Beijing’s Capital International Airport was the next busiest at 89.9 million passengers.
The ACI report is based off monthly data supplied by 1,144 airports worldwide. The organization is the only worldwide association of airports and has 592 members, which operate 1,853 airports in 173 countries.
Atlanta has benefitted from its strategic location as a major connecting hub and port of entry into North America. The airport is within a two-hour flight of 80 percent of the United States population. The ACI report said Atlanta’s numbers were due, in part, to its largest operator, Delta Air Lines. Delta’s efficiency gains in the deployment of its aircraft fleet helped the airline continue to make inroads into the American domestic market.
Hartsfield Jackson also led all airports with 882,497 take-offs and landings, an increase of 1.6 percent over 2014. That averages to more than 2,400 aircraft movements per day. Chicago’s O’Hare International, fourth in overall passengers, ranked second in take-offs and landings with 875,136.
Four of the top 10 airports in overall passenger numbers are in the U.S. They include Chicago O’Hare (76.9 million), Los Angeles International ((74.9 million) and Dallas-Fort Worth International (64 million). Domestic airports dominated the rest of the world in take-offs and landings, recording eight of the top 10.
The ACI report stated that airline passenger traffic worldwide is up 6.1 percent this year. International travelers also increased by 6.3 percent. Air freight records, both domestically and internationally, are also up by more than 2 percent, and aircraft movements (take-offs/landings) are up 1.8 percent.
“It’s impressive to witness the dynamic character of the aviation industry and its evolution over time,” said Angela Gittens, director general of ACI World. “In certain markets, we see both airlines and airport operators expanding and optimizing their capacity in order to accommodate the growing demand for air transport. Thus, even in the most mature markets such as the United States and parts of Western Europe, several of the major hubs experienced year-over-year growth rates in passenger traffic that were well above the historical growth levels for these regions.
“On the other hand, we continue to observe double-digit growth rates at major Middle Eastern and Asian hubs serving long haul routes in emerging markets. With the continued rise in per-capita income and liberalization of air transport across these markets, the propensity to travel by air will rise accordingly. However, airport capacity considerations on the supply side within major city markets will remain paramount to the issue of accommodating the surge in demand for air travel.”
As Gittens suggested, growth of airline traffic is sweeping parts of the Middle East. Dubai International, which ranked as the sixth busiest airport in 2014, saw some 78 million passengers in 2015, jumping the airport to No. 3 in the world. Dubai’s traffic included 77 million international passengers, a jump of 10.7 percent and tops in that category. London’s Heathrow Airport was second in international travelers, with 68.8 million.
Here are the top 10 airports in the world for passenger traffic:
- Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International, 101.49 million passengers
- Beijing Capital International, 89.9 million passengers
- Dubai International, 78 million passengers
- Chicago O’Hare International, 76.9 million passengers
- Tokyo Haneda, 75 million passengers
- London Heathrow, 74.98 million passengers
- Los Angeles International, 74.93 million passengers
- Hong Kong International, 68 million passengers
- Paris Charles de Gaulle, 65 million passengers
- Dallas-Fort Worth International, 64 million passengers
Source: Baret News