Dubai emerged as the world’s third busiest airport for passenger traffic in 2015, up three spots since 2014, according to the latest rankings released by the Airport Council International.
Dubai International also maintained its ranking as the world’s busiest for international passenger traffic last year.
The airport posted traffic growth of 10.7 per cent, welcoming over 78 million passengers in 2015.
“Dubai has become the fulcrum that connects long-haul international flights from east and west, north and south,” ACI said.
The emirate is currently undertaking a massive expansion programme of both its airports – Dubai International and Al Maktoum – to accommodate increasing demand.
The renovated Al Maktoum International Airport will be able to handle up to 26.5 million passengers per year by 2025 with eventual annual capacity reaching 220 million passengers.
Overall, the emirate looks set to surpass all the international airports with plans to attract 86 million passengers per year in 2016, 126 million by 2020 and around 200 million passengers annually by 2030.
TOP 10 BUSIEST AIRPORTS IN 2015
1. Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Number of passengers: 101 million
Annual growth: 5.5%
Rank in 2014: 1
2. Beijing Capital International Airport
Number of passengers: 89.9 million
Annual growth: 4.4%
Rank in 2014: 2
3. Dubai International Airport
Number of passengers: 78 million
Annual growth: 10.7%
Rank in 2014: 6
4. Chicago O’Hare International Airport
Number of passengers: 76.9 million
Annual growth: 9.8%
Rank in 2014: 7
5. Tokyo Haneda Airport
Number of passengers: 75.3 million
Annual growth: 10.7%
Rank in 2014: 4
6. London Heathrow Airport
Number of passengers: 74.98 million
Annual growth: 2.2%
Rank in 2014: 3
7. Los Angeles International Airport
Number of passengers: 74.93 million
Annual growth: 6.1%
Rank in 2014: 5
8. Hong Kong International Airport
Number of passengers: 68.2 million
Annual growth: 8.2%
Rank in 2014: 10
9. Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport
Number of passengers: 65.7 million
Annual growth: 3.1%
Rank in 2014: 8
10. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Number of passengers: 64 million
Annual growth: 0.9%
Rank in 2014: 9
“It’s impressive to witness the dynamic character of the aviation industry and its evolution over time,” said ACI World director general Angela Gittens.
“In certain markets, we see both airlines and airport operators expanding and optimising their capacity in order to accommodate the growing demand for air transport.
“We continue to observe double-digit growth rates at major Middle Eastern and Asian hubs serving long haul routes in emerging markets. With the continued rise in per-capita income and liberalisation of air transport across these markets, the propensity to travel by air will rise accordingly.
“However, airport capacity considerations on the supply side within major city markets will remain paramount to the issue of accommodating the surge in demand for air travel,” she added.
ACI’s traffic data is based on reports from 1,144 airports worldwide.