Passengers, not planes, make Atlanta’s airport world’s busiest

An international ranking of airports confirms earlier tallies that show Atlanta no longer has the world’s busiest airport measured by flight counts, though it is still the busiest measured by passenger counts.

As expected, Chicago O’Hare took the No. 1 spot for flight counts, with 881,933 take-offs and landings over Hartsfield-Jackson International’s 868,359, according to Airports Council International’s preliminary world airport rankings for 2014 released Thursday.

Atlanta, with nearly 96.2 million passengers in 2014, kept its top ranking with about 10 million passengers more than Beijing in the No. 2 spot. While Beijing “was expected to close the gap, it no longer has double digit-growth as in previous years, placing it in second position,” according to Airports Council International. Chicago O’Hare ranked 7th for passenger counts with just under 70 million passengers.

Read about why Hartsfield-Jackson lost half of its world's busiest ranking in our in-depth story on