Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has been ranked the World's Busiest Airport for the 21st consecutive year by Airports Councils International. The group released its rankings at the 11th Annual Airport Economics & Finance Conference & Exhibition held in London this week.
The Atlanta facility kept the top place, handling more than 107 million passengers in 2018, an increase of 3.3 percent over 2017. A global gateway, Hartsfield-Jackson offers nonstop service to more than 150 domestic and 70 international destinations. These locales include major commercial centers in Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, Africa, and South and Central America. It also holds the distinction of being the first airport in the world to serve more than 100 million passengers in a single year.
Holding on to second place is Beijing Airport, which surpassed the 100 million passengers mark last year, growing by 5.4 percent year-over-year. Dubai Airport remained in the third position even though, after years of double-digit percentage traffic growth, it grew by just 1 percent.
Los Angeles International Airport rose in the rankings to pass Tokyo Haneda to take fourth place. That swap between Los Angeles and Haneda was the only year-over-year change among the top 11 airports.
Among U.S. airports, O'Hare International Airport was the world's sixth-busiest last year with 83.3 million passengers, while Dallas/Fort Worth finished 15th with 69.1 million. Denver was the only other U.S. airport in the top 20, with a passenger count of 64.5 million placing it at number 20. In all, global passenger traffic is estimated to have reached 8.8 billion last year, growing by 6 percent over 2017.
"It is heartening to see that global passenger traffic growth has remained resilient in the face of an increasingly tense and challenging geopolitical climate," said ACI World director general Angela Gittens. "Aviation is strongly linked to the global economy and to local development, however, and the protectionist rhetoric that has swept several Western countries will continue to restrain growth in the efficient flow of people, goods and services."