Hartsfield-Jackson still the world’s busiest airport

Filed in Events, News by on February 6, 2015
Bigger planes carry more passengers.

Bigger planes carry more passengers.

Mayor Kasim Reed announced at his annual State of the City breakfast Feb 3 that, for the 17th consecutive year, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was once again the world’s busiest airport. Passenger traffic surged by more than 1.7 million travelers, reaching 96.1 million passengers in 2014.

“I am pleased to announce that once again – for the 17th year in a row – Hartsfield-Jackson is the busiest airport on Planet Earth, with more than 96.1 million passengers,” said Reed in follow-up comments. “And not only are we the busiest, Atlanta’s airport has been recognized as the world’s most efficient airport for more than 11 years. The airport also contributes more than $34 billion in direct business revenue to our local economy and employs more than 63,000 people.”

The 2014 total of 96.17 million passengers is 1.85 percent higher than the passenger count of 94.43 million recorded in 2013. International flight operations rose by 10.07 percent – from 67,948 to 74,791 in 2014. Passenger totals are the industry accepted metric for determining how busy an airport is.

“Hartsfield-Jackson is proud to remain the world’s busiest airport,” said Aviation General Manager Miguel Southwell. “In addition to offering world-class airport amenities, Atlanta is home to the country’s best attractions and provides a welcoming environment for new and established businesses. It’s our hope that more people coming through Atlanta will go home and tell their families, tell their neighbors, tell their friends and give others a compelling reason to come here.”

The mayor also discussed the Airport and its upcoming Master Plan during a Jan. 27 interview with the Atlanta Business Chronicle. He was asked whether the city’s priorities lay in first building a new runway to accommodate plane traffic or in adding a new terminal to attract additional airlines.

“My sense is that a new terminal will precede a new runway,” Reed said. “We have some idea where that will take place. But that will probably be the priority … more gate space.”

The mayor was bullish on the Airport’s strength as a driver of the metro economy: “We have a $6 billion capital program at Hartsfield-Jackson airport that is going to continue to power the region. Part of our region’s secret sauce is that there is always a major capital project underway at Hartsfield-Jackson.”

Reed also underscored his push to expand international travel and air cargo business, as well as his commitment to improve the customer experience.

“We are really trying to make our airport one that is world class,” he added. “Not just because we are the most successful in terms of traffic.”

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