Atlanta, Beijing Remain World's Top Two Busiest Airports

 - March 27, 2015, 9:58 AM
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport retained its top ranking as the world's busiest for passenger traffic.

Airports in Atlanta, Beijing, London and Tokyo were the top four busiest airports for passengers in 2014, according to preliminary estimates by Airports Council International (ACI). The rankings remained unchanged from the previous year.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport saw its passenger traffic increase by 1.9 percent, to more than 96 million, retaining its rank as the world’s busiest airport. While Beijing’s Capital International Airport “was expected to close the gap” with Atlanta, the 2.9-percent increase it experienced in 2014 lagged the double-digit passenger growth it has seen in previous years, ACI said. London-Heathrow—with a 1.4 percent-increase—and Tokyo-Haneda, up 5.7 percent, were the third and fourth busiest airports, respectively.

Airports in Los Angeles and Dubai moved ahead of Chicago-O’Hare airport to rank fifth and sixth, respectively.

Dubai International Airport, the sixth busiest airport overall, was the world’s busiest for international passenger traffic. Dubai outpaced London Heathrow in 2014, serving as a crossroads for nearly 70 million passengers. “The airport that continued to make its mark in 2014 was Dubai International,” said Rafael Echevarne, ACI World economics director. “The airport has solidified its status as the world’s major international connecting hub. Dubai is the fulcrum that connects long-haul international flights from east and west, north and south.”

However, sister airport Dubai World Central has capacity for more than 160 million passengers annually and is poised to become the world’s busiest gateway, Echevarne noted. It is already the 29th busiest air cargo hub in the world, having handled 760,000 metric tons of cargo last year.

ACI based the ranking on monthly data reports from 1,095 major commercial airports. It will release a final report covering 1,800 airports this summer.