Atlanta heads the pack as airport traffic grows 4% in 2012

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Preliminary traffic figures for 2012 released by airports body ACI World shows Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson remains the busiest airport in the world handling more than 95 million passengers in the last 12 months.

Passenger numbers at Delta Air Lines' home airport increased more than 3% in 2012, and by over 4% at the world's second busiest airport, Beijing. Fast-growing Jakarta and Dubai airports were both notable entries into the top 10 busiest airports in 2012. They were the only two hubs in the top 10 to enjoy double-digit passenger growth in 2012.


Passengers 2012

Change versus 2011

Atlanta Hartsfield 95.5m 3.3%
Beijing Capital 81.9m 4.1%
London Heathrow 70.m 0.9%
Tokyo Haneda 66.8m 6.7%
Chicago O'Hare 66.6m (0.1%)
Los Angeles 63.7m 3.0%
Paris Charles de Gaulle 61.6m 1.1%
Dallas/Fort Worth 58.6m 1.4%
Jakarta 57.8m 12.1%
Dubai 57.7m 13.2%
Source: ACI World prelminary traffic figures for 2012

ACI reports data from over 1,000 airports shows passengers traffic grew 4% last year. This compares with growth of 4.9% in 2011. Freight traffic and aircraft movements were flat last year compared to 2011.

ACI World's director of economics Rafael Echevarne says: "Although we saw slightly lower year-over-year growth rates in passenger traffic in 2012, from month to month as compared to 2011, the overall result for the year was in line with ACI forecasts, which factored in the slowdown in certain European and North American markets.

"Air cargo had mixed results throughout 2012 with some months showing modest gains while other months posting declines. Amid the significant downside risks in the Euro area and the fiscal deadlock in the United States that remained omnipresent throughout the year, growth in the air cargo market came to an overall halt in 2012.

"As the global economy and international trade gradually picks up steam, we are optimistic to see stronger demand for air transport in the latter half of 2013," he adds.