Airport Passenger Traffic in North America Grows 4.3 Percent in 2005; 1.52 billion passengers move through airports while cargo declines by 0.5 percent

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 16, 2006--More than 1.52 billion passengers* traveled through North American airports in 2005, an increase of 4.3 percent, Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) announced today. Both cargo and total operations, however, declined slightly by 0.5 percent and 0.2 percent respectively.

"North American passengers are returning to the skies in record numbers and many air carriers continue to add flights in markets across the U.S. and Canada. The numbers reinforce ACI-NA's 2005 Capital Needs Survey, which shows that airports plan to spend $14.3 billion per year over the next five years to add capacity and upgrade facilities to meet that demand," said ACI-NA President Greg Principato.

"This is clearly not the time to reduce investment in airport infrastructure as the Administration proposed in its Fiscal Year 2007 budget. As we move toward FAA Reauthorization in 2007," he said, "we need to find ways to increase investment in the nation's aviation system."

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport retained the number one worldwide ranking for passenger traffic, counting 85.9 million passengers in 2005, a 2.8 percent increase over 2004. Atlanta was followed by Chicago O'Hare International Airport (76.5 million) and Los Angeles International Airport (61.5 million).

Memphis International Airport remained the busiest cargo airport in the world, handling over 3.6 million metric tons -- an increase of 1.2 percent over its final 2004 numbers.

Atlanta replaced Chicago as the airport with the greatest number of total operations worldwide with a yearly total of 980,386 movements. Chicago posted a 2 percent decrease in operation at 972,248 movements. Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport ranked third with 711,878 operations, a decrease of 11.5 percent.

Canada's busiest airport in two of the three categories is Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International Airport, ranking 17th in North America for passengers (29.9 million) and 18th in total movements (409,401). Vancouver International Airport ranked highest at 30th in Canada for cargo (223,677 metric tons).

The ACI-NA 2005 Traffic Report contains passenger, freight/mail and aircraft operations data for 190 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 2005 North American traffic report is available on ACI-NA's web site (

*Passenger traffic is defined as the aggregate total of arriving (enplanement) and departing (deplanement) 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. Over 300 aviation-related businesses are also members of the association, which is the largest of the six worldwide regions of Airports Council International.