The busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic is currently Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.
According to the latest available data from Airports Council International, the airport handled over 93.7 million passengers in 2022.
Preliminary figures indicate that with the resumption of international travel, 2022 global passenger traffic reached close to 7 billion, representing an increase of 53.5% from 2021, or a 73.8% recovery from 2019 results.
The top 10 airports for total passenger traffic, representing 10% of global traffic, witnessed a gain of 51.7% from 2021 amounting to 85.9% recovery vis-à-vis their 2019 results.
ATL has been the world's busiest airport by passenger traffic since 1998, with high passenger traffic due to its location as a major hub for domestic and international flights.
But why is this the busiest airport in the world?
ATL is the busiest airport in the world for several reasons:
Location: Atlanta is a major hub for both domestic and international flights, with a large catchment area that includes many major cities in the southern United States.
Airlines: The airport is a major hub for several major airlines, including Delta Air Lines, which has its headquarters in Atlanta. This means that the airport serves as a major connecting point for passengers travelling to destinations across the globe.
Capacity: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has a large and efficient infrastructure that is designed to handle large volumes of passengers and aircraft. The airport has five runways and two terminals with a total of 207 gates, allowing it to handle a large number of flights and passengers.
Customer Service: The airport is known for providing excellent customer service, with a wide range of amenities and services for passengers. This includes restaurants, shops, lounges, and other services that make travel more comfortable and convenient.
A combination of factors has made Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport the busiest airport in the world, including its location, airline partnerships, infrastructure, and customer service.
Managing the busiest airport in the world requires a high level of coordination and organisation across multiple areas, including operations, security, maintenance, and customer service.
Here are some key factors that go into managing an airport like Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport:
Infrastructure: The airport infrastructure must be designed and maintained to handle large volumes of passengers and aircraft. This includes runways, taxiways, terminals, parking facilities, and other support facilities.
Staffing: The airport must have a large and well-trained staff to manage operations, security, maintenance, and customer service. This includes air traffic controllers, security personnel, maintenance crews, and customer service representatives.
Technology: The airport must use advanced technology to manage operations, security, and customer service. This includes baggage handling systems, passenger check-in kiosks, security scanners, and other advanced technologies.
Planning and Coordination: The airport must have a robust planning and coordination process in place to manage daily operations, respond to emergencies, and coordinate with airlines, government agencies, and other stakeholders.
Customer Service: The airport must prioritise customer service to ensure that passengers have a positive experience while travelling through the airport. This includes providing clear signage, comfortable waiting areas, and responsive customer service representatives.
Managing the busiest airport in the world requires a combination of infrastructure, staffing, technology, planning, and customer service.
Effective management is essential to ensure that the airport runs smoothly, safely, and efficiently, and that passengers have a positive experience while travelling through the airport.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is owned and operated by the City of Atlanta Department of Aviation.
The airport is managed by a team of professionals who oversee various aspects of airport operations, including airside and landside operations, security, customer service, and finance. Here are some key management positions at the airport:
Airport General Manager: The General Manager oversees all aspects of airport operations, including the management of airport staff, development of policies and procedures, and coordination with airlines and other stakeholders.
Deputy General Manager: The Deputy General Manager provides leadership and support to the General Manager and oversees specific areas of airport operations, such as airside and landside operations, capital programs, and airport planning.
Director of Aviation Security: The Director of Aviation Security is responsible for overseeing the airport's security operations, including screening of passengers, baggage, and cargo, as well as coordination with federal and local law enforcement agencies.
Director of Customer Experience: The Director of Customer Experience is responsible for ensuring that passengers have a positive experience while travelling through the airport. This includes overseeing customer service operations, managing retail and food and beverage programs, and overseeing the airport's public art program.
Director of Finance: The Director of Finance oversees the airport's financial operations, including budgeting, financial reporting, and revenue management.
The management team at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is responsible for ensuring that the airport runs smoothly, safely, and efficiently, and that passengers have a positive experience while traveling through the airport.
Portobello Institute offers a BSc in Airport, Airline and Aviation Management and an MSc in Aviation Management, both awarded by London Metropolitan University.
Tara Finn is Head of Business Development at Cork Airport and currently studying for her MSc in Aviation Management at Portobello Institute.
"This role has given me the opportunity to travel regularly and be centred around all things aviation. This course gives me the skills to keep pursuing this passion and advance my career.
"My career progression led me to this course, and I would hope that in the future it could lead to new opportunities in bigger airports or airlines.
“The best thing about studying at Portobello is the flexibility to do the course notes/lectures at times that work around my schedule.
“The tutors and lecturers are so helpful, especially Derek and understanding which automatically makes everything easier and the whole experience more enjoyable,” she said.
Read Tara's full story here.
Get in Contact
If you are interested in any of our Travel & Tourism degrees or courses, you can check out our department page.
For more information on the BSc in Aviation Management click here.
For more information on the MSc in Aviation Management click here.
If you are interested in choosing the course for the career you want, you can book a consultation call with our expert Travel & Tourism advisor Brandon McLean here, email email@example.com or call 01 892 0035.
Join our mailing list to receive the latest insights and exclusive content from your chosen department of interest