Indira Gandhi International Airport Enters List of World’s Top 20 Busiest Airports

Indira Gandhi International Airport pushed out John F Kennedy airport to emerge as the world's 16th busiest airport, according to Airports Council International rankings.


New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport edged out New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport to break into the list of top 20 busiest airports last year. The IGI Airport was placed at No. 16, according to rankings released by the Airports Council International (ACI) on April 9.

The Delhi airport took the 22nd rank in 2016. The John F Kennedy airport, which was at the 16th spot that year, had figured on the list of top 20 busiest airports consistently since 2003.

The ranking are based on the preliminary passenger traffic results for the most-traveled airports in 2017.

The Delhi airport also emerged as the fastest growing on the list, with its passenger growth at 14 per cent, followed by China’s Guangzhou airport (ranked No. 13) with 10 per cent passenger growth. “Delhi, the country’s busiest airport for passenger traffic, grew by 14.1 per cent year-over-year at 63.45 million, pushing it up from 22nd to the 16th busiest airport in the world,” the ACI said in a statement.

With rising income making air travel more affordable, the world’s aviation center of gravity is continuing its eastward shift, with China and India set to lead air travel markets by 2020, the ACI said. Asia Pacific is likely to have 3.5 billion passengers by 2036, which is more than double the forecast for North America and Europe combined, as per estimates by the International Air Transport Association.

The busiest airport in the world — Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport — is the only one among the top 20 to see a decline in passenger traffic. Dubai is the world’s busiest airport for international passengers, followed by Heathrow Airport in London, and Hong Kong. In terms of air cargo, Hong Kong took the top spot, with Memphis and Shanghai taking the second and third place, respectively.

Since there is a huge explosion in demand, about half of the $1 trillion budgeted for airport expansions and upgrades around the world will be centered in Asia, according to the Sydney-based CAPA-Centre for Aviation.

Efforts by Chinese airlines to add more direct flights to the United States and Europe have resulted in increase in traffic at second and third tier airports, with Tianjin airport in China reporting a 25 per cent increase in passengers, while Nanjing and Xian recorded 15.5 per cent and 13 per cent rise, respectively.

In India, passenger traffic in Kolkata jumped 27 per cent, while Hyderabad and Bengaluru saw 20 per cent and 13 per cent gain, respectively .

Top 20 busiest airports in 2017:

  1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
  2. Beijing Capital International Airport
  3. Dubai International Airport
  4. Tokyo Haneda International Airport
  5. Los Angeles International Airport
  6. Chicago O’Hare International Airport
  7. London Heathrow Airport
  8. Hong Kong International Airport
  9. Shanghai Pudong International Airport
  10. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
  11. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
  12. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport
  13. Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport
  14. Frankfurt Airport
  15. Istanbul Ataturk Airport
  16. Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport
  17. Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport
  18. Singapore Changi International Airport
  19. Incheon International Airport
  20. Denver International Airport

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