Airports are getting busier than ever, and had 6.6 percent more passengers in 2017 than in the previous year. For the 20th consecutive year, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has hosted more passengers than any other airport on the planet.
According to preliminary 2017 travel data released on Monday by the Airports Council International (ACI), close to 104 million passengers passed through the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in 2017, making it the world's busiest passenger airport.
Beijing (PEK), with 94.4 million passengers (a 1.5 percent increase) holds the second spot and Dubai (DXB) remained in the third position.
Dubai International Airport is also the world's busiest in terms of international passengers. Total passenger traffic at DXB grew 5.5 percent in 2017.
The Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, operated by the Delhi International Airport Ltd, is also among the top 20. Delhi Airport jumped from 22nd to 16th, solidifying its status as one of the fastest growing airports in the world for passenger traffic. Total passenger traffic in IGI airport grew by 14.1 percent in 2017.
"Growing rapidly in relatively short period of time, India is poised to be one of the largest aviation markets in the world in the years to come. With an astounding population base of over 1.3 billion inhabitants, the move towards a more liberalized aviation market coupled with stronger economic fundamentals has helped to awaken the Bengal tiger to become one of the fastest growing markets in the world.ACI's World Airport Traffic Forecasts predicts that the country will represent the third largest aviation market, in terms of passenger throughput, after the US and China by 2020" ACI said in a report.
"Even with this rapid growth in throughput, DEL was also ranked first in Airport Service Quality for airports above 40 million passengers per annum. The award, which is also shared with Mumbai (BOM), the second busiest Indian airport, is based on a derived score from a battery of passenger satisfaction metrics", ACI noted.
"Calcutta (CCU), Hyderabad (HYD), Bangalore (BLR), Madras (MAA) also ranked among the fastest growing airports in the world. Year-over-year growth of 26.9 percent, 19.6 percent, 12.9 percent and 10.5 percent respectively was achieved in 2017", the ACI report added.
Of the top 20 busiest airports, five airports – Los Angeles, Chicago O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth and Denver International – are located in the US.
ACI report is prepared based on data from more than 1,200 airports worldwide.