The Airports Council International (ACI) World has published the top ten busiest airports in the world for 2022, welcoming back some of the world’s largest airport hubs as international traffic returns, marking an important milestone in air travel’s complete recovery from the pandemic’s impact.
With the resumption of international travel, preliminary data show that global passenger traffic will approach close to 7 billion in 2022, an increase of 53.5% from 2021 and a 73.8% recovery from 2019.
The top ten airports for total passenger traffic, which account for 10% of worldwide traffic, saw a 51.7% increase from 2021, amounting to an 85.9% improvement over their 2019 results.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL, 93.7 million passengers, +23.8%) is ranked first in 2022, followed by Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW, 73.4 million passengers, +17.8%), Denver Airport (DEN, 69.3 million passengers, +17.8%), and Chicago O’Hare Airport (ORD, 68.3 million passengers, +26.5%).
Five of the top ten airports in the world are located in the United States. They all have sizable domestic passenger shares (ranging from 75% to 95% domestic travel).
Dubai Airport was ranked fifth (DXB, 66.1 million passengers, +127%), Istanbul Airport was ranked seventh (IST, 64.3 million passengers, +73.8%), and London Heathrow Airport, Delhi Airport, and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport were ranked eighth, ninth, and tenth, respectively. (see table below).
London Heathrow experienced the greatest increase in the top ten. (LHR). As borders reopened in March 2022 after a two-year closure, the airport’s rating rose from 54th to 42nd.
“The new top 10 busiest airports for passenger traffic reflects the resilience of the airport and aviation industry, and the eagerness of passengers to travel by air. While US airport hubs were able to recover quicker due to their strong domestic market, we are now witnessing global hubs joining upper ranks—including Dubai, Istanbul, and London Heathrow airport. While we continue to march forward cautiously amidst multiple headwinds that could impact the speed and magnitude of global air traffic recovery, the latest rankings represent an important milestone in reaching pre-pandemic levels. The re-opening of China, the second largest aviation market after the US, is now expected to bring an overall gain, both domestically and for international travel. The ongoing recovery of air travel demand would not be possible without the continuous work of airports to provide a safe, secure, efficient, and sustainable air transport ecosystem for the passengers that we depend on and the communities we serve. ACI World will remain committed to representing the best interests of airports on the global stage during key phases of policy development and to promoting airport excellence.”ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira
Global aircraft moves are expected to reach 89 million in 2022, representing a 20.4% increase over 2021 figures. This indicates an 82.5% recovery from pre-pandemic levels. (2019).
The top ten airports for aircraft movements, which account for nearly 7% of worldwide traffic (5.7 million movements), saw a 11.4% increase from their 2021 results, recovering to 91.5% from their 2019 results. (6.2 million in 2019).
With 724 thousand movements (+2.3% from 2021), ATL is at the summit, but still falls short of its 2019 result of 904 thousand movements (-19.9%). After topping ATL in 2019 and 2018, ORD (712 thousand movements, +4%) is in second place, followed by DFW (657 thousand movements, +0.7%).