When you enter the TSA line, whatever airport you're in instantly feels like the busiest in the world. But the truth is it's not. Unless you're in Atlanta. Then you're actually dead-on.
For the 21st year in a row, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has been crowned the busiest in the world on Airports Council International's preliminary world traffic ranking. Over 107 million passengers flew through it last year, and its traffic went up 3.3%. That was on trend, as global passenger traffic rose 6%, and passenger traffic at the 20 busiest airports in the world rose by almost 5%.
Atlanta has such dominance in this space in part because, as CNN points out, it's within a two-hour flight of 80% of the US population and is in an ideal spot as both a connecting hub and a port of entry into North America.
But here's the full list of 20.
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The world's 20 busiest airports
20. Denver International Airport (Colorado, US) - 64.5 million
19. Singapore Changi Airport (Singapore) - 65.6 million
18. Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (Indonesia) - 66.9 million
17. Istanbul's Atatürk International Airport (Turkey) - 68.2 million
16. Seoul's Incheon International Airport (South Korea) - 68.4 million
15. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (Texas, US) - 69.1 million
14. Frankfurt Airport (Germany) - 69.5 million
13. Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (China) - 69.8 million
12. New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (India) - 69.9 million
11. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Netherlands) - 71 million
10. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (France) - 72.2 million
9. Shanghai Pudong International Airport (China) - 74 million
8. Hong Kong International Airport (China) - 74.5 million
7. London's Heathrow Airport (United Kingdom) - 80.1 million
6. Chicago's O'Hare International Airport (Illinois, US) - 83.3 million
5. Tokyo's Haneda Airport (Japan) - 87.1 million
4. Los Angeles International Airport (California, US) - 87.5 million
3. Dubai International Airport (United Arab Emirates) - 89.1 million
2. Beijing Capital International Airport (China) - 101 million
1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (Georgia, US) - 107.4 million passengers
Actually, the top 3 airports -- Atlanta, Beijing Capital, and Dubai -- were unchanged from last year, and, in fact, as USA Today points out, the only change in the top 11 was Los Angeles (LAX) overtaking Tokyo Haneda for fourth place. So it's likely that Atlanta won't lose its crown any time soon.
But don't let this shake your conviction that the Akron-Canton airport is the busiest in the world next time you're there.
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