According to recent data released by Airports Council International (ACI), based in Montréal, more than 1.56 billion passengers arrived and departed from North American airports in 2012, a 1.3 percent increase from the previous year. Cargo increased by 0.8 percent while total operations decreased by 1.4 percent.
“The fact that North America’s airports continue to rank among the world’s busiest underscores their tremendous importance to the global economy and the economies of the local communities that they serve,” said Deborah C. McElroy, interim president of Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA). “Making the necessary infrastructure investments today will ensure that companies in North America, as well as ACI-NA’s member airports, retain their competitive edge in the future.”
The four busiest airports were Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with more than 95.5 million passengers, followed by Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (66.6 million), Los Angeles International Airport (63.7 million) and Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (58.6 million).
Memphis International Airport remained the largest cargo airport in North America, handling approximately 4.0 million metric tons, an increase of 2.5 percent from last year’s totals. Anchorage International Airport ranked second in North America with a 3.1 percent decrease in its cargo volume to 2.5 million metric tons.
Canada's busiest airport, once again, is Toronto Pearson International Airport, ranked 14th in North America for passengers with 34.9 million, an increase of 4.4 percent from 2011. It ranked 15th in total cargo with 417,022 metric tons, almost flat from last year, and 11th in total movements with 433,975, an increase of 1.2 percent.
The ACI 2012 Traffic Report contains passenger, freight/mail and aircraft operations data for 216 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 2012 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.
Airports Council International - North America represents local, regional and state governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada. ACI-NA member airports enplane more than 95 percent of the domestic and virtually all the international airline passenger and cargo traffic in North America. More than 340 aviation-related businesses are also members of the association, which is the largest of the five worldwide regions of Airports Council International.