Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Is Once Again the Busiest Airport in the World

This year's numbers are lower than usual, but other airports are also recovering

Hartsfield Jackson

Jessica McGowan / Stringer / Getty Images

After being knocked off the top of the list during the global pandemic, Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has once again been named the busiest airport in the world, reclaiming the title it lost to China's Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in 2020.

The rankings, which Airports Council International released, consider 2021 passenger traffic. Over the last year, an increase in domestic travel has helped Hartsfield-Jackson glide back up to the top of the list.

The latest rankings “tell the story of an encouraging trend of recovery, with most of the recurrent busiest airports pre-COVID-19 back at the top,” said Luis Felipe de Oliveira, ACI world director-general.

Before losing the title last year, Hartsfield-Jackson dominated the busiest airport rankings with an impressive 22-year winning streak. While it handled over 75 million passengers in 2021, allowing it to win back its title, its current numbers are far from the pre-pandemic crowds that easily topped 100 million each year.

Atlanta's 2021 numbers account for 31.5 percent less than the airport's first-place ranking in 2019. Guangzhou Baiyun dropped to eighth place, with just over 40 million passengers passing through it in 2021.

Other airports rounding out the top five include Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Denver International Airport, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, and Los Angeles International.

Article Sources
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  1. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Hartsfield-Jackson Reclaims Title as World's Busiest Airport." April 11, 2022.

  2. Airports Council International. "The Top 10 Busiest Airports in the World." April 11, 2022.

  3. WSFA 12 News. "Atlanta Airport Reclaims Title as World's Busiest Airport." April 11, 2022.