Beijing Airport Now World's Second Busiest

In 2010 Beijing Capital International Airport became the world's second-busiest airport by passenger numbers, according to the Geneva-based industry association Airports Council International.

As a result of surging demand amid fast-growing Asian economies Beijing has moved up to second place among the world's busiest airports: vying with Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, which continues to be the world's busiest airport. London Heathrow, which was previously ranked second, has dropped to fourth place behind Beijing Capital Airport and Chicago O'Hare.

ACI reports that its preliminary traffic results — based on statistics gathered from over 900 airports worldwide — indicate that compared to 2009, global passenger traffic grew at a higher than expected rate of 6.3% and cargo traffic rose strongly by 15.2%. Aircraft movements remained stable with an increase of just under 1%.

Commenting on the results Angela Gittens, the world director general for ACI, said that the figures for 2010 underscore the resilience of the air transport business and resulted in annual passenger numbers of over 5 billion for the first time. She added that there was also a pronounced shift and divergence in growth across the regions. While North America and Europe had struggled to reach pre-financial crisis passenger volumes, Asia-Pacific, Latin America-Caribbean, and the Middle East showed sustained momentum and gained market share through double digit growth.