Large airports grow, small airports shrink

Airports Council International (ACI) has released the latest edition of its pricey World Airport Traffic Report, which costs $865 (€740).

Airfields continue to grow fast as a result of increasing numbers of airline passengers. In 2016, there were 46 airports with over 40 million passengers per annum as compared to 18 airfields in 2006. Mature markets like Europe and North America experienced an important resurgence in air transport demand, particularly at many of its large hubs.

At the same time, a relatively higher proportion of smaller airports with fewer than 1 million passengers saw passenger traffic declining in the period 2006-2016 compared with other size categories. Thus, smaller airfields shrink, whereas larger airports grow.

"It is important to highlight that smaller airfields remain in operation because they contribute to the social and economic development of their surrounding communities. Strategies to ensure their sustainability are important if we are to have a robust aviation system," says Angela Gittens, director general, ACI World.

The report also shows that Atlanta remains the world’s busiest airport with 104 million passengers in 2016. The second largest airport is Beijing with 94 million passengers. And the third ranked airport is Dubai with 84 million passengers.

During 2016, the highest number of passengers traveled through airports in the Asia-Pacific region, while the smallest number traveled through airfields in Africa:

1. Asia-Pacific (2.7 billion, up 10.6% over 2015).
2. Europe (2 billion, up 5.2% over 2015).
3. North America (1.8 billion, up 3.8% over 2015).
4. Latin America/Caribbean (588 million, up 1.2% over 2015).
5. Middle East (369 million, up 9.4% over 2015).
6. Africa (182 million, down 0.4% over 2015).

Tags: airports, passenger numbers, Airports Council International

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