Hartsfield-Jackson retains title of world’s busiest airport
Credit: Chris Rank
Passengers file through the security checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, the day before Thanksgiving, the busiest travel day of year. (Photo by Chris Rank/Corbis via Getty Images)
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport remains the world's busiest airport, according to the latest ranking from Airports Council International.
The airport group’s preliminary ranking based on 2016 traffic at airports around the world put the Atlanta airport in the No. 1 position for both passenger counts and flight counts.
Hartsfield-Jackson handled more than 104 million passengers last year, up 2.6 percent. An oft-cited factor that makes Atlanta’s airport a crucial air hub is that the airport is within a two-hour flight of 80 percent of the U.S. population.
In the No. 2 spot is Beijing Capital, followed by Dubai, fast-growing Los Angeles International, Seoul and Shanghai. The four other airports in the top 5 are all growing faster than Hartsfield-Jackson, and Beijing is less than 10 million passengers behind Atlanta.
“We see passenger traffic continuing to grow at many of the major hubs,” said ACI World director general Angela Gittens, who is also a former Hartsfield-Jackson general manager. “The combined use of larger aircraft, increased load factors by airlines and more efficient use of infrastructure continue to be an important trend across the industry.”
Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport including Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, one of the world's largest carriers, and Hartsfield-Jackson, the world's busiest airport. She has covered airlines for about 20 years, graduated from Harvard and has a master's degree from Northwestern.