Atlanta remains the world’s busiest airport

With more than 104 million passengers passing through, the airport maintains its position as the busiest hub

Atlanta-Hartsfield-Jackson airport has managed to maintain its position as the world’s busiest. With more than 104 million people passing through its terminals during 2017, the airport beats Beijing, which had 95 million passengers, and Dubai, with 88 million.

With more than 104 million passengers, Atlanta remains the world's busiest airport — ESB Professional / Shutterstock
With more than 104 million passengers, Atlanta remains the world’s busiest airport — ESB Professional / Shutterstock

According to the figures revealed by the Airports Council International (ACI), the year reflected records in air travel overall. Global passenger numbers increased by 7.5 per cent last year, compared to 2016, to reach almost 8.3 billion in total.

The world’s 30 busiest airports experienced an increase in traffic of 5.4 per cent in 2017 — serving almost two billion passengers. 13 out of the 30 highest ranking airports are located in the Asia-Pacific region.

According to ACI, the majority of the world’s fastest-growing large airports are located in emerging markets. 16 of the fastest-growing top 30 airports are located in just two countries, China and India with more than 15 million passengers.

ACI director general Angela Gittens said: “Global passenger traffic has reached record levels as airports continued to make a crucial contribution to furthering economic development and global connectivity.

Global passenger traffic has reached record levels, ACI World says — Rob Wilson / Shutterstock.
Global passenger traffic has reached record levels, ACI says — Rob Wilson / Shutterstock

“While strong competitive forces continue to drive innovation and improvements in efficiency and service for passengers, airports face the challenges of meeting the continuing global growth in demand for air services.

“The core issue for our industry remains how we respond to this demand at a local, national, and international level as physical capacity considerations and potential bottlenecks in air transport infrastructure pose challenges in accommodating future air transport demand.

“To help to ensure communities continue to reap the social and economic benefits of air service growth, national policy should be focused on facilitating growth over the long-term, setting out clear objectives for their aviation sector.

“While airports and their partners strive to provide a positive response to the challenges of growth, the threat of heavy-handed regulation that hinders the economic sustainability of airport investment and operation and changes in international trade policy remains fundamental concerns.”

Dubai has also managed to secure its reputation as the world’s busiest hub for international passenger traffic while being the world’s third busiest airport.