Published On: Thu, Sep 3rd, 2015

17 years on Atlanta International Airport still the world’s busiest

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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. Atlanta’s 96 million passengers last year put it at the top of the list for “total passengers,” the traditional measure for determining the world’s busiest airport. Beijing came in at No. 2 with 88 million passengers for 2014. Those two airports maintained their rankings from 2013, though Beijing narrowed the gap between it and front-running Atlanta.

It has been the world’s busiest airport by passenger traffic since 1998, and by number of landings and take-offs from 2005 until 2013. 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.

Atlanta airport saw a rise of 1.9% over 2013, while Beijing’s growth was at 2.9% in 2014 as compared to a double-digit growth it had experienced in the previous years. Dubai airport ranked first in terms of international passenger traffic but is the sixth-busiest airport in the world in overall passenger traffic.

“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.”

 The world’s top 30 airport cities take in more than one-third of global passenger traffic. London remains the world’s largest airport system with nearly 147 million passengers handled at six airports. New York comes in second with 116 million passengers at three airports.

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