Beijing Soon To Top Atlanta As City With World’s Busiest Airport

By Sharelle Burt


Look out, Atlanta! New data shows that Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) in China will beat out Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta (ATL) as the world’s busiest airport this upcoming quarter when it comes to airline capacity.


According to an Airline Weekly report regarding scheduling data for the fourth quarter of 2018, PEK will have a higher scheduled seat capacity than ATL. Beijing is beating Atlanta by 462,179 seats. Now, scheduled departing seats typically aren’t the metric used to measure how busy an airport is. The seating capacity is a calculation of how many seats are physically on the aircraft scheduled to fly in and out of an airport. The term “busy” is used based on the number of passengers that pass through an airport’s terminals each year. Atlanta still places in the top ranking.


The infamous ATL airport is still busy at work by making renovations. Earlier this week, airport officials are seeking approval to fund pedestrian bridges that are expected to cost a total of $55 million. The airport has been planning to build two at Terminal South and two at Terminal North. The project also includes escalators and elevators to a mezzanine level for entrance into the bridges.


Even with all the renovations, the change still doesn’t come as a shock. If you look at passenger growth trends in Asia, two of the regions growing airports just knocked New York’s JFK airport off the list of top 20 busiest airports in the world. India’s Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi (DEL) and China’s Guangzhou Airport (CAN) were 2017’s first and second-fastest growing airports by traffic in the world. So with scheduled seat statistics indicating the number of passengers passing through an airport in future years, Beijing should dethrone Atlanta for the world’s busiest airport in no time.


By 2020, the Airport Council International says China and India will likely be among the world’s top-three aviation markets. The Asia-Pacific market is on course to have more than 3.5 billion passengers by 2036.

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Sharelle Burt

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