Last year we saw Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport top the table, boasting the busiest airport in the world with nearly 104 million (based on 2017 figures), but did it retain its top spot in 2018? Read on to find out more…

#1 Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

Holding onto the top spot, with an increase of 3.3 per cent on 2017. Atlanta may have been bypassed by Chicago O’Hare on aircraft movements, but on passenger numbers, it reigns supreme. Retaining the title since 1997, it looks like ATL is going nowhere for now.

Total passengers: 107,394,029 

#2 Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK)

Remaining at number two, Beijing has seen an increase of over 5 per cent since 2017, but as Beijing Daxing nears completion, competition in the area is surely set to increase. I wonder if we will see more than one Beijing-based airport this time next year?

Total passengers: 100,983,290

#3 Dubai International Airport (DXB)

Remaining in the bronze medal position, Dubai continues to grow as an airport. Having welcomed 900,000 passengers in 2018, the steady growth of DXB has seen a 1 per cent increase on 2017’s figures. As Dubai continues to be a very popular holiday destination we expect DXB to remain in the top five for years to come. 

Total passengers: 89,189,387

#4 Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Climbing one place from its 2017 ranking, LAX has overtaken Tokyo. With a rise of 3.5 per cent in passenger numbers, the ‘Gateway to the Pacific Rim’ has regained its 2016 positioning on the list. With the increase in passengers, the airport’s new people mover gets to showcase what it can do. 

Total passengers: 87,534,384

#5 Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) 

Dropping one place, Tokyo saw a rise of a mere 2 per cent in passenger numbers. The Greater Tokyo Area has been ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world, not surprising then that the airport remains so highly ranked on this list. 

Total passengers: 87,131,973

#6 O’Hare International Airport, Chicago (ORD)

Despite ruling the aircraft movement table, here O’Hare sits pretty in sixth for passenger traffic, with an increase of 4.4 per cent. In 2017 the airport served 79.8 million passengers, and with a modernisation programme well underway, the terminals are becoming more suitable for this level of increase to continue. 

Total passengers: 83,339,186

#7 London Heathrow (LHR) 

Hedging into the top 10, Heathrow saw an increase of 2.7 per cent on 2017. Whilst the controversy continues around the expansion, and the construction of the third runway, it doesn’t seem to have put passengers off travelling through Europe’s largest Hub airport. With Brexit still looming the role LHR will play in a post-Brexit Britain is still uncertain, as with everything surrounding Article 50. 

Total passengers: 80,126,320

#8 Hong Kong International Airport (HKA) 

Seeing an increase of 2.6 per cent, the world’s largest terminal building has seen a 14.4 per cent decrease in air cargo, but quite the opposite in passenger traffic. The 2030 Hong Kong International Airport Master Plan will see the facilitation of this sustained growth. 

Total passengers: 74,517,402

#9 Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) 

The busiest international hub in China maintains its position in ninth place from 2017. With an increase of 5.7 per cent, the satellite terminal development plan from 2015 is expected to accommodate a passenger increase of 10 per cent. 

Total passengers: 74,006,331

#10 Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) 

The automated baggage sorting system and conveyor to speed luggage delivery time for airlines operating within the hub, and the planned rail connection with CDG Express, all promote the addition of new links, and in turn, welcome new passengers to the terminal, with a 4.0 per cent increase on 2017, CDG is going nowhere from this top 20 anytime soon. 

Total passengers: 72,229,723