And the world's busiest airport is ...

Story highlights

  • The world's busiest passenger airport retains its title for another year
  • A windy city took the top spot in another key measurement
  • Hong Kong kept the title of busiest cargo airport

(CNN)Winning -- politicians, sports legends and actors will tell you -- never gets old.

The same is true with airports.
For the 17th year in a row, Atlanta operated the busiest passenger airport in the world in 2014, according to the Airports Council International's World Airport Traffic Report, released Monday, August 31.
    More than 96 million passengers went through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in 2014, an increase of 1.9% over 2013, according to the report.
    Passenger traffic continued to grow around the globe, with the world's airports serving more than 6.7 billion passengers in 2014, an increase of 5.7% over the previous year, according to the report.
    "Passenger traffic remained resilient in the face of the global uncertainties that beleaguered many economies in 2013 and 2014," said Angela Gittens, ACI's Director General, in a statement.
    "International tourism, in particular, was irrepressible in 2014 considering the geopolitical risks that have persisted in certain parts of the world, such as Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The Ebola outbreak also presented significant challenges to the aviation sector."
    Those challenges didn't stop the international traveler last year, she said. The 5.7% overall global passenger traffic rate "is above the 4.3% average annual growth rate in passenger traffic from 2004 to 2014," she said.

    Passenger growth around the world

    Passenger growth was evident among the rest of the world's busiest airports.
    With more than 86 million passengers last year, Beijing Capital International Airport remained in second place, increasing 2.9% over 2013. That's modest compared to the double-digit growth of previous years.
    London's Heathrow Airport continued to hold on to third place for another year, with more than 73 million passengers, an increase of 1.4%.
    Toyko's Haneda Airport was fourth with nearly 73 million passengers, a 5.7% increase over 2013.
    The airports in fifth, sixth and seventh places in 2013 swapped spots in 2014. Los Angeles International Airport moved up from sixth to fifth, Dubai moved up from seventh to sixth, and Chicago O'Hare International Airport dropped from fifth to seventh.
    There were no changes to Paris Charles de Gaulle (eighth place), Dallas/Fort Worth (ninth) and Hong Kong (tenth).

    Atlanta dominates the United States

    Atlanta also retained the title of busiest domestic passenger airport in the world, with 85.4 million passengers, followed by Beijing (68.9 million) and Tokyo (62.9 million).
    Dubai was the busiest airport in the world for international passenger traffic, with 69.9 million passengers. London Heathrow came in second place with 68.1 million and Hong Kong was in third place with 62.9 million.
    Though the news was mostly good for Atlanta, the city did lose some bragging rights.
    Chicago O'Hare took the top spot from Atlanta in the number of takeoffs and landings, officially known as aircraft movements.
    A spokesman for the Atlanta airport said earlier this year that its carriers are adding more aircraft with higher passenger capacity, which means fewer planes.
    O'Hare took first place with more than 881,000 movements, followed by Atlanta with more than 868,000 and Los Angeles with more than 708,000. Rounding out that list were Dallas/Fort Worth, Beijing, Denver, Charlotte, Las Vegas, Houston and London.
    Airport movements in both Chicago and Atlanta actually decreased compared with 2013. Chicago's movements dropped by 0.2%, and Atlanta's dropped by 4.7%.
    Hong Kong's airport is still the busiest cargo airport in the world, transporting more than 4.4 million metric tons of cargo in 2014. Memphis, Tennessee, home to FedEx, came in second place with 4.2 million metric tons and Shanghai was third with nearly 3.2 million metric tons. (One metric ton equals 2,205 pounds.)
    Rounding out the top 10 were cargo airports in Incheon, South Korea; Anchorage, Alaska; Dubai; Louisville, Kentucky; Tokyo (Narita); Frankfurt, Germany; and Taipei, Taiwan.
    The Airports Council International preliminary traffic report was based on data from 2,200 airports in 160 countries around the world. The rankings didn't shift from those listed in a preliminary report released in May.