Dubai remained the world’s busiest airport for international passenger traffic in 2015 beating London Heathrow and Hong Kong, according to the latest report issued by the Airports Council International (ACI).
The emirate’s international airport saw 77.5 million passengers last year, up 10.7 per cent compared to 2014.
Dubai also increased its ranking among the world’s busiest airports in terms of total passenger numbers, rising from sixth in 2014 to third in 2015.
The top spot in the busiest airports list for 2015 was retained by Atlanta-Hartsfield-Jackson, which saw a 5.5 per cent year-over-year growth in passenger traffic to reach over 100 million.
“Atlanta has benefitted tremendously from its strategic location as a major connecting hub and port of entry into North America. The airport is within a two-hour flight of 80 per cent of population in the United States,” the report said.
Overall, ACI also found that worldwide airport passenger numbers increased 6.4 per cent in 2015 to almost 7.2 billion, representing the strongest growth rate since 2010.
The growth came despite a slight weakening of economic growth and the geopolitical risks that persisted in certain parts of the world, such as Eastern Europe and the Middle East, it said.
“It is important to maintain cautious optimism as we navigate through 2016,” said Angela Gittens, director general of ACI World.
“There are several impediments that could curtail the continued rise in demand, which could potentially encumber growth prospects over the short- and medium-terms. Specifically, these are related to geopolitical unrest, terrorism and threats to security in certain parts of the world.
“Physical capacity considerations and potential bottlenecks in air transport infrastructure also pose challenges in accommodating future air transport demand. Finally, protectionist policies that retreat from further economic integration and air transport liberalisation could have adverse contractionary effects on the air transport industry,” she said.
She added: “Irrespective of the challenges that lay ahead, by and large, the evidence of history supports the long run resiliency of the industry where connecting people, places, cultures and commerce is paramount in the shared mission of the aviation community.”
TOP 10 BUSIEST AIRPORTS BY PASSENGER NUMBERS WORLDWIDE
1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Total passengers in 2015: 101.4 million
Year-on-year change: 5.5%
Rank in 2014: 1
2. Beijing Capital International Airport
Total passengers in 2015: 89.9 million
Year-on-year change: 4.4%
Rank in 2014: 2
3. Dubai International Airport
Total passengers in 2015: 78 million
Year-on-year change: 10.7%
Rank in 2014: 6
4. Chicago O’Hare International Airport
Total passengers in 2015: 76.9 million
Year-on-year change: 9.8%
Rank in 2014: 7
5. Tokyo Haneda Airport
Total passengers in 2015: 75.5 million
Year-on-year change: 3.8%
Rank in 2014: 4
6. London Heathrow Airport
Total passengers in 2015: 74.98 million
Year-on-year change: 2.2%
Rank in 2014: 3
7. Los Angeles International Airport
Total passengers in 2015: 74.93 million
Year-on-year change: 6%
Rank in 2014: 5
8. Hong Kong International Airport
Total passengers in 2015: 68.2 million
Year-on-year change: 8.2%
Rank in 2014: 10
9. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
Total passengers in 2015: 65.7 million
Year-on-year change: 3.1%
Rank in 2014: 8
10. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Total passengers in 2015: 65.5 million
Year-on-year change: 2.6%
Rank in 2014: 9