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World's busiest airport is in US
April 7, 2016, 8:38 am
Atlanta airport

Atlanta has done it again, holding off Beijing to retain its title as the world's busiest passenger airport.

More than 100 million passengers passed though Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International in 2015, a rise of 5.5% over 2014 according to preliminary traffic data released by Airports Council International (ACI).

The report credits Atlanta's strategic location as a major connecting hub and port of entry into North America for its continuing success, noting that it's within a two-hour flight of 80% of the United States population.

Though the Georgia airport has held the top spot for 18 years, it was expected to finally lose its crown to the Chinese capital.

"While Beijing was poised to close the gap on Atlanta by 2015, it no longer benefits from the double-digit growth it enjoyed in previous years, and as such remains in second position," says the report.

"The combination of a Chinese slowdown and capacity constraints has meant lower growth levels at the airport. Beijing grew by 4.4% in total passenger traffic."

Dubai handled most international traffic in 2015

The one to watch? Definitely Dubai.

The sixth busiest airport in 2014, it moved to third position in 2015, with total passenger traffic growing by 10.7%.

Dubai International Airport is also the world's busiest in terms of international passengers, ahead of London Heathrow.

The second busiest U.S. airport on the list is Chicago O'Hare, which moved from seventh to fourth position in 2015 thanks to growth of 9.8%.

"After years of congestion, the airport is reaping the benefits of runway expansions and other capacity developments," says ACI.

When it comes to aircraft movements, U.S. airports continue to dominate.

Atlanta overtook last year's leader, Chicago, with 882,497 total takeoffs and landings. Chicago had 875,136.

Coming in at third, Dallas Fort Worth saw 681,244 takeoffs and landings in 2015, followed by Los Angeles, with 655,564, and Beijing with 590,169.

More people flying than ever

ACI has 592 member airport authorities, which operate 1,853 airports in 173 countries.

All figures and percentages from this week's report are based on monthly data submissions by 1,144 major commercial airports. A final version will be released later in the year.

In terms of overall growth for 2015, the report says there was a 6.1% rise in total passengers over 2014.

International passenger growth rose 6.4%, while cargo -- including mail -- rose 2.4%.

The world's largest air cargo hub remains Hong Kong. Memphis took the second spot followed by Shanghai.

"It's impressive to witness the dynamic character of the aviation industry and its evolution over time," said Angela Gittens, director general of ACI World, in a statement.

"In certain markets, we see both airlines and airport operators expanding and optimizing their capacity in order to accommodate the growing demand for air transport."

"We're not the busiest, we're the most-traveled"

When it comes to public perception, turns out being at the top of the busy list isn't necessarily a good thing.

In February, Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport announced that it would rather people referred to it as "world's most-traveled airport."

General Manager Miguel Southwell told local media that "some really smart marketing people" learned that the word "busy" has a negative connotation.

"So it's 'world's most-traveled,'" Southwell said.

Here is a list of the 10 world's bussiest airports:

Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International: Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International remained the busiest passenger airport in the world in 2015, bringing in more than 100 million passengers.

Beijing Capital Internaitonal Airport: 

While Beijing was expected to move into first place by 2015, it no longer benefits from the double-digit growth it enjoyed in previous years, says the ACI report. Traffic grew by 4.4% with 89.9 million passengers passing through last year.

Dubai International Airport: 

The sixth busiest Airport in 2014, Dubai has moved up to third position. With more than 78 million passengers, traffic grew by 10.7% in 2015. It is also the world’s busiest in terms of international passengers.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport: 

Chicago O’Hare moved up to become the fourth-ranked airport in 2015 from seventh position in 2014 with growth of 9.8%. “After years of congestion. The airport is reaping the benefits of runway expansions and other capapcity developments,” says the ACI report.

Tokyo Haneda Airport: 

More than 75 million passengers passed through Tokyo Haneda in 2015, a rise of 3.4% over 2014.

London Heathrow Airport: 

With 74.98 million passengers in 2015, London Heathrow dropped three sots to come in as the world’s sixth busiest airport. In terms of international passengers, however, Heathrow held onto the second spot.

Los Angeles Internatinoal Airport: 

LAX processed more than 74.93 million passengers in 2015, a rise of 6.1% despite the increase it fell two spots in the rankings, from fifth to seventh.

Hong Kong INternaional Airport: 

Hong-Kong international airport, the worlds largest air cargo hub, saw more than 68 million passengers pass through its doors in 2015, an increase of 8.2%.

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport:

 Paris International Airport slipped in the rankings as well, moving from eighth to ninth spot. More than 65 million passengers passed through Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in 2015, an increase of 3.1%.

Dallas Fort-Worth International: 

Dallas Fort-Worth International welcomed 64 million passengers in 2015, a 0.9% increase over the previous year, according to Airport Council Internaitonal’s preliminary 2015 passenger traffic results. The texas facility dropped from ninth place to 10th.

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