By Morgan Dye
According to recent data released by Airports Council International (ACI), based in Montreal, nearly 1.48 billion passengers arrived and departed from North American airports in 2010, a 2.5 percent increase from the previous year. Cargo increased by 11.2 percent while total operations decreased by 1.5 percent.
“Airports are optimistic that traffic will continue to increase as the economy recovers,” said ACI-NA President Greg Principato. “Industry forecasts indicate that demand for both business and leisure air travel will grow and airports need to invest in infrastructure projects to meet that future demand.”
The four busiest airports were Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson with more than 89 million passengers, followed by Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (66.8 million), Los Angeles International Airport (59.1 million), and Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (56.9 million).
Memphis International Airport remained the largest cargo airport in North America, handling about 3.9 million metric tons, an increase of almost 6 percent. Anchorage International Airport ranked second in North America with a 36.6 percent increase in its cargo movements to over 2.6 million metric tons.
Canada’s busiest airport, once again, is Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport, ranked 17th in North America for passengers with 31.9 million, an increase of 5.2 percent from 2009. It ranked 13 in total cargo with 482,486 metric tons, an 11.8 percent increase, and 13 in total movements with 418,298, an increase of 2.6 percent.
The ACI 2010 Traffic Report contains passenger, freight/mail and aircraft operations data for 198 North American airport members. Total passengers represent the sum of passengers enplaned and deplaned in all commercial services but not passengers who travel in business or general aviation modes of transportation. Total freight/mail figures represent the sum of the total freight and mail—both loaded and unloaded—at the reporting airport. Total aircraft operations reflect the sum total of all domestic commercial, international commercial, commuter, general aviation and military operations. The final 2010 North American traffic summary data is available on ACI-NA’s website.
*Passenger traffic is defined as the aggregate total of arriving (deplanement) and departing (enplanement) passengers. Transfer passengers are only counted once.