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
The birthplace of Coca-Cola, “Gone with the Wind” and Martin Luther King Jr. is still home to the busiest passenger airport in the world.
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 Airports Council International’s preliminary passenger traffic data, released Thursday.
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 swapped spots. 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 (10th).
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 says its carriers are adding more aircraft with higher passenger capacity, which means fewer planes.
O’Hare took first place with 881,000 movements, followed by Atlanta with 868,359 and Los Angeles with 708,674. 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 1,095 airports worldwide. A final version will be released later in the year.