Atlanta Airport Retains Title for Busiest Airport

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) has once again been named the world’s busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic for the year 2022. 

According to data published by The Airports Council International (ACI) this Wednesday, Atlanta leads the list of busiest airports by a large margin, with around 93 million passengers passing through the airport in 2022. That’s more than 256,711 passengers per day, on average, traveling through Atlanta. Following Atlanta is Dallas Fort Worth International Airport with around 73 million passengers in 2022.  

Atlanta has held the number one spot for busiest airport for almost every year since 1998, coming in second only once in 2020 to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport.

Source: Airports Council International
Credit: Airports Council International

Why is Atlanta the Busiest Airport?

Although Atlanta is not a significant tourist destination or an highly populated city, it still holds the title for the busiest airport due to 2 primary reasons:

  1. The city’s geographical position in the Eastern part of the United States. Atlanta’s location enables it to be within a two-hour flight of 80% of the US population, making it an important connecting point between cities. 
  1. Atlanta’s role as the primary hub for Delta Airlines, which is headquartered in the city. The large majority of flights in Atlanta are from Delta Airlines.
Atlanta Airport
Credit: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Increasing Trend for Air Travel

The passenger traffic data from ACI for 2022 shows a recovering trend in air travel for Atlanta airport. All airports among the top 10 busiest had an increase in passenger traffic from the previous year, with Atlanta seeing a 23.8% increase; however all but 2 airports (Istanbul and Denver) among the top 10 fell short of their numbers from 2019. Nevertheless, Atlanta’s passenger volume has been increasing steadily since 2020 and is on track to return to its pre-pandemic levels from 2019.

Atlanta Airport Passengers:

2019: 110.5 million

2020: 42.9 million 

2021: 75.7 million

2022: 93.7 million

2023: ?

Will passenger traffic during this year at ATL return or even surpass that of 2019? The Airports Council International believes that a full recovery in global passenger traffic won’t happen until 2024, however Atlanta could reach its pre-pandemic levels sooner.

Atlanta Airport
Credit: Global Atlanta

READ ALSO: The World’s Largest Airports


Cover Image: Atlanta Journal Constitution

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