Atlanta-Hartsfield-Jackson Airport has retained its position as the busiest hub for passengers as it welcomed just shy of 104 million in 2017, according to data released by the Airports Council International (ACI) World.
The airport trade body said passenger traffic at the world’s 20 busiest airports grew by 5.2 per cent in 2017. With almost 1.5 billion passengers passing through their terminals in 2017, this group of 20 represents 17 per cent of global passenger traffic.
Beijing holds second spot and Dubai remained in third position. As a major connection point for long-haul international flights, Dubai is also the world’s busiest in terms of international passengers and total passenger traffic grew 5.5 per cent in 2017.
Delhi jumped from 22nd to 16th solidifying its status as one of the fastest growing airports in the world for passenger traffic; Guangzhou in China, grew by 10.3 per cent making it the second fastest growing airport among the top 20.
ACI director general, Angela Gittens said: “The surge in cargo volumes and passenger numbers across many of the world’s airports is testament to heightened business and consumer confidence, at least in the short term.
“The world’s airports continue to be a vital link in the economic multiplier effect that aviation provides and the role it plays as an enabler for global commerce is growing.
“The universal access to online retail and e-commerce platforms represents a competitive pressure to the traditional brick and mortar retail shops in certain markets but the huge growth in e-commerce has fuelled the air cargo side of the airport business.
“This has resulted in increased global activity, especially in major markets such as China and the US.”
Gittens added: “The spectre of uncertainty regarding trade policy among major economies comes at a time when global commerce and our industry has recently thrived. The trans-pacific link, for instance, is an important ingredient in boosting international passenger traffic and international freight volumes.”
“Connecting people, business and places still remains paramount to the aviation sector despite the recent threats of a step backwards in market liberalization in some major economies,” Gittens concluded.