By Andrea Romano
March 14, 2019
TAMI CHAPPELL/Getty Images

It may come as no surprise if you’ve ever been through Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport that it is still the busiest airport in the world.

According to the annual preliminary world traffic report published by the Airports Council International (ACI), Hartsfield-Jackson saw over 107 million passengers in 2018.

While a report says Chicago O’Hare International tops Hartsfield-Jackson in flight operations (903,747 flights compared to 895,502 flights in 2018), the ACI report measures passengers enplaning and deplaning at the airport.

Chicago O’Hare only ranks sixth in passenger count, according to the ACI report.

According to USA Today, 2018 marks the 21st consecutive year Hartsfield-Jackson has earned the title of world’s busiest airport. This last year also marks a shuffling in the rankings as well, according to USA Today, as China’s Beijing Capital International Airport takes the second place spot with over 100 million passengers, and Los Angeles International Airport squeezing past Tokyo Haneda Airport for fourth place with over 87.5 million passengers (an increase of 3.5 percent since 2017).

Hartsfield-Jackson and Beijing Capital are the only two airports with over 100 million passenger counts. “ATL welcomes Beijing Capital International Airport to the 100 million passenger club,” Hartsfield-Jackson said in a press release, reported 11Alive.

“It is heartening to see that global passenger traffic growth has remained resilient in the face of an increasingly tense and challenging geopolitical climate,” said Angela Gittens, ACI World Director General, in a statement on the report. “With the cost of travel decreasing in many markets, and a burgeoning middle class growing in emerging markets, passenger traffic growth has remained irrepressible.”

ACI predicts that demand for air travel services will grow by at least 30 percent between 2018 and 2023, according to the report.

And growth at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has been showing no signs of stopping anytime soon. Late last year, Delta Airlines (which is headquartered in Atlanta) opened the first biometric terminal in the U.S.

The full report can be found on the ACI website.

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