Cameron Davidson/Getty Images
Cailey Rizzo
April 09, 2018

It may be something you’ve considered while standing in the security line but never (until now) had the data to confirm: airports are busier than ever.

Across the globe, airports had 6.6 percent more passengers last year than in the previous year.

According to data released Monday by the Airports Council International (ACI), passenger traffic at the world’s 20 busiest airports grew 5.2 percent last year. Almost 1.5 billion passengers passed through the doors of these 20 airports, representing 17 percent of global passenger traffic.

Once again, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport is the busiest in the world, having welcomed almost 104 million passengers last year. However the airport may not retain its top spot for long. Hartsfield-Jackson was the only airport in the top 20 to report a decrease in passengers from the previous year.

The runner up was Beijing Capital International Airport, with 96 million passengers, followed by Dubai International, with 88 million.

Passenger growth at Asian airports was strong in 2017 — half of the 20 busiest airports were located in Asia and four were in China alone. Earlier this year, Routesonline predicted that China had 11 of the world’s 20 fastest growing airports.

Confirming other travel trends, travelers are increasingly likely to pick international destinations. ACI estimated that the number of international passengers increased 8.4 percent last year.

Of the top 20 busiest airports, five were located in the United States: Los Angeles, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth and Denver International all made the list.

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