New data from the ACI – Airports Council International – confirms that Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is still the busiest in the world, while Beijing Capital International takes second place.
The data forms part of ACI’s initial report for the 2009-2010period, for which data was compiled from more than 900 airports around the world.
It’s published to illustrate growth in three specific areas: how much traffic passed though in total, how many passengers were handled and how much freight was processed.
London Heathrow – previously the occupier of the No.2 spot - now sits in fourth place, behind Chicago O’Hare.
Busiest Airport in the WorldThe highest number of arrivals and departures occurred at Hartsfield Jackson, with over 950,000 in all. The same site also experienced the highest level of passengers – 89 million of them – and that’s what made it the busiest airport in the world.
It was another airport, though, that triumphed in terms of freight – Hong Kong International Airport (Chek Lap Kok). Here, no less than 4.1 million cargo flights arrived or departed.
“2010 underscored the resilience of the air transport business and resulted in over 5 billion annual passengers for the first time ever”, Angela Gittens – director general of ACI – stated in a press release.
She continued: “2010 also pronounced the shift and divergence in growth across the regions. While North America and Europe have struggled to reach pre-crisis passenger volumes, Asia-Pacific, Latin America-Caribbean and Middle East sustained a strong momentum and gained market share through double digit growth.”
World’s Busiest AirportsOf the world’s 30 busiest airports, just two saw passenger levels decline: Las Vegas and London Heathrow.
The report highlights the factors that affected the eventual results outcome. These include the impact of the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud, which severely limited air travel during much of April and May 2010, and extreme winter weather at the start of 2010.
On a more regionalised based, US airport growth was hampered by limited economic recovery and the reluctance of airlines to create more domestic flight routes. Elsewhere, growth was especially strong around both the Asia Pacific and Middle East areas, according to Gittens.
The new ACI airport growth report is a preliminary one, with a final version due out before the end of 2011.