Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson remains world's busiest airport

Kelly Yamanouchi, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Business News

Hartsfield-Jackson International has again been named the world’s busiest airport, handling more passengers than any other in 2023.

With 104.7 million passengers passing through last year, the Atlanta airport had more passengers than Dubai in the No. 2 spot with nearly 87 million passengers and Dallas/Fort Worth at No. 3 with 81.8 million passengers. That’s according to a preliminary ranking from industry group Airports Council International World released Monday.

Hartsfield-Jackson has been the world’s busiest airport for years, with the exception of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic when it was briefly surpassed by an airport in Guangzhou, China. Atlanta’s airport has handled more passengers than any other airport in every other year since 1998.

In addition to its ranking for passenger counts, ATL also handled the most flights in the world in 2023 — followed by Chicago O’Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth at No. 3.

Hartsfield-Jackson’s passenger count last year was up 11.7% from 2022, but still about 5% shy of its record level of 110.5 million passengers in 2019 before the pandemic.

Having the world’s busiest airport isn’t always a boon for travelers in Atlanta, when they’re waiting in long lines that stretch around the terminal to get through security, struggling to find a parking spot or pushing through crowded concourses to get to their gate.

But for Atlanta officials, it’s long been a source of pride.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens issued a statement Monday saying the title “underscores our city’s economic vitality.”


“It is a testament to our global connectivity and an affirmation of our city’s place on the world stage,” Dickens said.

Delta’s hub in Atlanta drives the large volumes of passengers connecting through the airport, increasing flight options for local travelers and attracting companies and residents to Atlanta who need easy access to fly around the country and the world. That, in turn, increases demand for flights from other airlines.

In its efforts to maintain the title and accommodate the growing demand for travel, Hartsfield-Jackson is in the midst of a multi-billion dollar expansion, including an extension of the Plane Train tracks to add more capacity, widening Concourse D and adding gates to Concourse E.

In 2023, international travel drove growth in traffic around the world, according to ACI.

“While perennial leaders from the U.S. continue to dominate the top 10 busiest airports for passengers, notably Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport retaining its number one position, there are notable shifts,” said Luis Felipe de Oliveira, ACI World Director General, in a written statement. “Dubai International Airport jumped to second rank for the first time, while Tokyo Haneda International Airport witnessed a remarkable ascent from 16th position in 2022 to 5th in 2023.”

In other categories, airports overseas ranked higher than ATL. Hong Kong ranked No. 1 for cargo tonnage and Dubai was at the top for international passengers.

©2024 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


blog comments powered by Disqus