World’s top five fastest growing airports for passengers and cargo revealed

ACI also names world’s top airports for passengers, cargo, and aircraft movements

Montreal, 17 September 2019 – Airports Council International (ACI) World’s latest World Airport Traffic Report has revealed the top airports for passengers, cargo and aircraft movements and highlighted the world’s fastest growing airports for 2018.

The report found that, in total, the world’s airports accommodated 8.8 billion passengers, 122.7 million metric tonnes of cargo, and 99.9 million aircraft movements.

The world’s top three airports for passenger traffic volume – Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Beijing Capital International Airport, and Dubai International Airport respectively – have held their positions while Los Angeles International Airport (fourth) and Tokyo International Airport (fifth) have swapped places in the top five from last year.

“The World Airport Traffic Report shows that, even as smaller airports around the world continue to make strong gains, the largest hub airports continue to grow,” ACI World Director General Angela Gittens said. “There were 16 airports handling more than 40 million passengers per annum in 2008 and there are now 54.

“Collectively, these airports achieved a year-over-year passenger traffic growth of +5.1% in 2018 which is significant considering a large proportion of these airports are in the mature and capacity constrained markets of North America and Europe.”

Most of the world’s fastest-growing airports are located in emerging markets, a significant proportion of them being in the Asia-Pacific region. As many as 12 of the fastest-growing top 30 airports in 2018 are located in either China or India.

“India’s move towards a more liberalized aviation market and the nation’s strengthening economic fundamentals have helped it become one of the fastest-growing markets with its traffic growing rapidly in a relatively short time,” Gittens said.

“Major Russian airports also experienced significant gains in traffic following on from difficult economic times in 2015 and 2016 and they also received a boost in traffic numbers as a result of the FIFA World Cup.”

As regards total cargo volumes, the top five airports – Hong Kong International Airport, Memphis International Airport, Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Incheon International Airport, and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport respectively – all held their positions from the previous year.

Big movers were Los Angeles International Airport which jumped three places from thirteenth to tenth this year and Doha International Airport which advanced five places from sixteenth, last year, to eleventh.

Rockford, an expansive air cargo hub in the United States, was the fastest-growing airport in 2018 for airports that handled more than 250,000 metric tonnes of air cargo. Positioning itself as an e-commerce freight hub for online retail giant Amazon, the airport’s traffic grew +56.6% in 2018.

For total aircraft movements, Chicago O’Hare International Airport has taken top spot from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, recording a growth rate of +4.2%.

The full list of top airports for passenger traffic, cargo, and aircraft movements is as follows:

Notes for editors

  1. Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports, was founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization. In representing the best interests of airports during key phases of policy development, ACI makes a significant contribution toward ensuring a global air transport system that is safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sustainable. As of January 2019, ACI serves 646 members, operating 1,960 airports in 176 countries.
  2. Find more information on the World Airport Traffic Report.

Media contacts

Bojana Jeremic
Manager, External Relations and Special Events
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1254
Email: mediarelations@aci.aero

Sabrina Guerrieri
Manager, Communications
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1200
Email: mediarelations@aci.aero