Data journalist covering technological, societal and media topics
Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International has been named the world’s busiest airport for 2015 by Airports Council International (ACI). Preliminary data reveals that over 100 million passengers passed through the Delta hub last year, a 5.5 percent increase on 2014. According to ACI, Atlanta benefits enormously from its strategic location as a major connecting hub and port of entry to the United States. It is within a two-hour flight of 80 percent of the U.S. population.
Beijing was expected to overtake Atlanta by 2015 but its double digit growth has slackened due to a combination of China’s slowdown and capacity constraint. Its traffic grew 4.4 percent to 89.9 million passengers. Growth was steady in other parts of China, however. Shanghai’s passenger numbers climbed 16.3 percent in 2015, hitting 60 million, placing it 13th on the overall list.
Dubai was in third place with 78 million passengers, up 10.7 percent on the previous year. A major connecting hub between east and west, this airport is notable in being the world’s busiest for international passengers, ahead of London Heathrow. Chicago O’Hare was the second busiest U.S. airport with 76.9 million passengers.