It’s not just you: Airports really are getting busier.
Close to 104 million passengers passed though Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in 2017, making it the world’s busiest passenger airport for another year.
That’s according to 2017 travel data released Thursday by Airports Council International.
Globally, there were significant increases in passenger numbers, air cargo traffic and total aircraft movements.
With flight routes this busy, it’s surprising we can see the sky at all.
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.
The city is within a two-hour flight of 80% of the United States population of more than 300 million people.
However, that could change by next year. Atlanta was the only airport among the top 20 busiest airports for passengers to see a decrease in passenger traffic last year, with a small drop of 0.3%.
While Beijing has long nipped at the heels of the Atlanta airport, which has held the top spot for 18 years, the Chinese capital’s airport came in second place again with 89.9 million passengers (a 4.4% increase).
The overall news is also good for the world’s airports.
Worldwide passenger traffic increased 6.4% in 2015 to almost 7.2 billion, with increases in all the world’s six regions: Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America-Caribbean, Middle East and Africa.
Worldwide cargo traffic, including mail, rose 2.6%. The world’s largest air cargo hub remains Hong Kong, China. The US city of Memphis, Tennessee, took the second spot, followed by Shanghai, China.
ACI’s figures and percentages from the annual report are based on data from more than 2,300 airports in 160 countries worldwide.
Dubai handled most international traffic in 2015
The international airport to watch is Dubai.
The sixth busiest passenger airport in 2014, Dubai jumped into third position in 2015. Total passenger traffic grew by 10.7%. (Dubai International Airport is also the world’s busiest in terms of international passengers, ahead of London Heathrow.)
“India is poised to be one of the largest aviation markets in the world in the years to come,” ACI claims in its report, noting that Calcutta, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Madras all saw growth of between 10% and 27%.
The second busiest US airport on the list is Chicago O’Hare, which moved from seventh to fourth position in 2015, thanks to growth of 9.8%.
LAX was still knocked from fourth place to fifth place on the global list by Tokyo International Haneda Airport, with its impressive 6.46% growth.
The top three contributors to global passenger traffic growth are China, the United States and India.
Coming in at third, Dallas-Fort Worth saw 681,247 takeoffs and landings in 2015, followed by Los Angeles with 655,564, and Beijing with 590,169.
“The surge in cargo volumes and passenger numbers across many of the world’s airports is testament to heightened business and consumer confidence, at least in the short term,” Angela Gittens, director general of ACI World, says.
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. Los Angeles International Airport (California) – 84.6 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) – 73 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. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (Texas) – 67 million
13. Guangzhou Bai Yun International Airport (China) – 66 million
14. Frankfurt Am Main Airport (Germany) – 64.5 million
15. Atatürk International Airport (Turkey) – 64 million
16. Indira Gandhi International Airport (India) – 63.5 million
17. Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (Indonesia) – 63 million
18. Singapore Changi Airport (Singapore) – 62.22 million
19. Incheon International Airport (South Korea) – 62.16 million
20. Denver International Airport (Colorado) – 61 million