The Airports Council World (ACI World) establishes each year the list of the busiest airports. The latest list available is based on the number of passengers in 2017… No European airport is included! London’s Heathrow airport (seventh in the ranking) and Paris’ Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport (tenth in the rankings) are indeed left behind by the Asian and North American giants…
Atlanta airport is the only one to exceed 100 million passengers!
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) welcomed nearly 104 million passengers in 2017, i.e. as many as the combined populations of the United Kingdom and Poland! This gives an idea of the vastness of this airport, whose long corridors are dotted with shops and restaurants – the airport also provides golf carts for passengers unable to make the long journeys between gates. ! The frequentation of this airport is largely due to its relatively central location in the United States: it is the hub (connection point) of Delta Airlines, one of the main American companies, and thus many passengers make a simple stopover there. to change flights.
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Beijing airport is now on its heels
Beijing-Capital Airport (PEK) was spectacularly expanded for the 2008 Olympic Games: Terminal 3, built for this occasion, was the largest airport terminal in the world when it opened and remains today the second in the ranking in terms of size with its 98 hectares of area! These renewed infrastructures enabled the main Chinese airport to welcome more than 95 million passengers in 2017. The rapid increase in Beijing airport traffic is symptomatic of China’s international openness, whether for tourism or for business.
Dubai International Airport takes third place
Dubai International Airport (DBX) received more than 88 million passengers in its huge malls. This giant airport, which has taken the record for the largest terminal from Beijing, benefits from its location halfway between Asia and Europe, but also from the aggressive commercial policy of the Emirati company which attracts many passengers. by its prices, which are all the lower as it has access to inexpensive fuel!
Tokyo airport follows closely with 85 million passengers…
Tokyo-Haneda International Airport (HND), Tokyo’s main airport, is at the foot of the podium with its 85 million passengers. The metropolis of Tokyo-Yokohama is the largest in the world with its 35 million inhabitants. The size of this population pool and the high Japanese standard of living naturally explain the high airport traffic at Haneda.
…slightly more than at Los Angeles International Airport!
Los Angeles International Airport registered 84.5 million passengers in 2017, and is therefore only slightly surpassed by its rival on the other side of the Pacific. Here again, the importance of the metropolis (nearly 19 million inhabitants for Los Angeles) and the high standard of living of California (significantly higher than the American average) are among the main reasons for the heavy use of this airport. . To this must be added the great distances within the United States and the slowness of other means of transport (relatively slow trains, very limited highways), which favor air transport throughout the country, and more particularly in its western part, less dense than the east.