This is the world’s busiest airport

Atlanta, Georgia CNN  — 

That’s according to 2017 travel data released Thursday by Airports Council International.

At least its airport does.

More than 107 million passengers flew through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport last year, making it the busiest passenger airport in the world for the 21st year in a row.

Atlanta also saw a 3.3% increase in passenger traffic, according to Airports Council International’s preliminary world traffic report, which was released on March 13.

Globally, there were significant increases in passenger numbers, air cargo traffic and total aircraft movements.

“There were 16 airports handling more than 40 million passengers per annum in 2008 and there are now 54.”

But Gittens warned of the impact of protectionist policies around the world.

“Protectionist rhetoric – fueled by isolationist policies – has swept several major economies in recent times and this has translated into a dismantling of established open trade relationships and regimes,” Gittens said in the news release.

Air transport relies on open markets to grow, she said.

“Despite this, passenger traffic has remained resilient, posting annual growth rates above historical averages with the cost of travel decreasing in many markets and middle-class populations burgeoning in emerging markets,” she said, adding that persistent isolationist policies could stifle growth in many countries.

Major connecting hub

The report, which was released Friday, credited the Atlanta airport’s location as a major connecting hub and port of entry into North America for its continued dominance. Atlanta is within a two-hour flight of 80% of the United States population of more than 300 million people, the report noted.

There was no change in the rankings of the top three passenger airports.

Coming in second place, Beijing Capital International Airport passed the 100 million passengers mark in 2018, hitting nearly 101 million passengers and growing by 5.4%. Third place Dubai Airport handled 89 million passengers, increasing by only 1%. (Dubai was also the top-ranked airport for international passenger traffic, followed by London’s Heathrow Airport and Hong Kong International Airport.)

Chicago tops Atlanta here

United Airlines is headquartered in Illinois, and has a large presence at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago

Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport knocked Atlanta out of the No. 1 spot for most aircraft movements, which is airport language for takeoffs and landings. O’Hare handled nearly 904,000 movements in 2018. Atlanta handled more than 895,000 movements, and Los Angeles International Airport handled nearly 708,000 movements.

ACI’s figures and percentages from the annual report are based on data from more than 2,300 airports in 160 countries worldwide.

Hong Kong remains the largest air cargo airport, handling more than 5.1 million metric tonnes of cargo in 2018, a 1.4% increase over the previous year, followed by the Memphis International Airport (Tennessee, US) and China’s Shanghai Pudong International Airport.

Dubai handled most international traffic in 2015

Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi is part of India's growth as an aviation market.

Of the fastest-growing top 30 airports with over 15 million passengers, 16 are located in those two countries.

The world’s busiest airports 2017

1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (Georgia) – 104 million passengers

2. Beijing Capital International Airport (China) – 96 million

3. Dubai International Airport (United Arab Emirates) – 88 million

4. Tokyo Haneda International Airport (Japan) – 85 million

5. Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (Japan) – 87.1 million

6. Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (Illinois) – 80 million

7. London Heathrow Airport (United Kingdom) – 78 million

8. Hong Kong International Airport (China) – 74.5 million

9. Shanghai Pudong International Airport (China) – 70 million

10. Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle (France) – 69 million

11. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Netherlands) – 68.5 million

12. New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (India) – 69.9 million

13. Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (China) – 69.8 million

14. Frankfurt Airport (Germany) – 69.5 million

12. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (Texas) – 67 million

16. Istanbul’s Atatürk International Airport (Turkey) – 68.4 million

14. Frankfurt Am Main Airport (Germany) – 64.5 million

17. Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (Indonesia) – 63 million

18. Singapore Changi Airport (Singapore) – 62.22 million

20. Denver International Airport (Colorado) – 61 million