Airports Council International World’s preliminary 2017 world airport traffic rankings show Indian and Chinese airports as major growth contributors. Demand for flights has achieved steady year-on-year growth worldwide. At the world’s 20 busiest airports, a group of 20 airports that accounts for 17 percent of global passenger traffic, passenger traffic grew 5.2 percent in 2017.
ACI’s data, based on reports from 1,202 global airports, show Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) as the most traveled airport again for 2017. Last year ATL boasted almost 104 million passengers. Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) ranks second, followed by Dubai International Airport (DBX). DBX, however, outranks the others as the world’s busiest airport in terms of international passengers because of its status as a major connection point for long-haul international flights. For 2017, total passenger traffic grew by 5.5 percent.
One of the fastest-growing airports for 2017 was Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL), which jumped in rank from 22nd to 16th. Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN), the second fastest-growing of the top 20 airports, grew by 10.3 percent.
India and China represent two of the largest markets for passenger growth, and ACI predicts India will become one of the largest aviation markets in the world in the coming years. ACI’s World Airport Traffic Forecasts anticipates that India will be the third largest aviation market by 2020.
DEL, India’s largest contributor to passenger traffic numbers, grew 14.1 percent year over year. Several of the country’s other airports also ranked among the fastest-growing airports in the world. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU) in Calcutta presented 26.9 percent in year-over-year growth. Rajiv Gandhi Hyderabad International Airport (HYD) showed 19.6 percent in year-over-year growth; Bengaluru International Airport (BLR) showed 12.9 percent growth; and Chennai International Airport (MAA) in Madras grew 10.5 percent.
Chinese airports are also major contributors to global passenger growth statistics. More than 10 Chinese airports can boast more than 20 million passengers per year, with PEK being the most traveled, followed by Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) and CAN. Significant growth in Chinese airport markets has also given a boost to international traffic in other regions, especially North America.
ACI’s World Airport Traffic Forecasts anticipates that Chinese traveler numbers may grow by as much as 3 billion passengers by 2040. With those kinds of numbers, China would represent a 21 percent share in global passenger traffic growth.