2015 World’s Busiest Airports Early Prediction Top 3

2016 Top 30 Busiest Airports - Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport

2015 has been a big year for air travel. While final numbers are being prepared, year to year passenger gains are estimated to be around 6%. The biggest growth will come from Asia and the Middle East as with the prior five years.

Busiest Airports

Experience The Skies began publishing insights of the busiest airports by passengers with a top 20 list in 2014 (Insight – September 20, 2014). This was expanded to a top 30 list in 2015 (Insight – March 31, 2015) . Below is the early prediction for the busiest airports who will make the top 30 list this year.

Keen readers will note that we published some early numbers  at an earlier post on the Istanbul New Airport (Insight – January 15, 2016). The top 5 busiest airports in 2014 made an appearance as part of a comparison between Istanbul’s future capacity to actual traffic from 2014.

Top Three

Based on data available, we predict the top 3 will be Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Beijing Capital International Airport and Dubai International Airport.

2015 Top 30 Busiest Airports Prediction Top 3
2015 Top 30 Busiest Airports Prediction Top 3

We predict passenger growth for all three airports with DXB experiencing the most expansion between 2014 to 2015.

2015 Top 30 Busiest Airports Prediction Top 3 Passenger Estimates
2015 Top 30 Busiest Airports Prediction Top 3 Passenger Estimates

First Place

In first place, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will retain the title of the busiest airport of the world by a good margin. The Southeast US based airport has been in the top position since 2000. It recently celebrated being the first in the world to handle 100 million passengers (News – December 19, 2015).

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport Tower
Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport Tower
Source: JGlover – Attribute to J. Glover, Atlanta, Georgia in any use outside of WikiMedia Foundation projects. – Own work, CC BY 3.0 us,

Hub Airline – Delta Air Lines (DL)

Second Place

Beijing Capital International Airport is projected to be in second place again. The metropolis is embarking on a new mega project to build a 3rd airport south of the city (News – February 2, 2015). This airport will be able to handle more than 45 million passengers when the first phase opens in 2018.

Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 3
Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 3
Source: Arup

Hub Airlines – Air China (CA), China Southern Airlines (CZ), Hainan Airlines (HU)

Third Place

Making a big move to third place is Dubai International Airport. Emirates is the main anchor there and recently introduced high density Airbus A380 service to Copenhagen Airport (News – December 1, 2015). More destinations will be introduced as newer aircrafts are delivered (Insight – December 1, 2015)

Dubai International Airport
Dubai International Airport
Source: YouTube – An extended scene from Dubai Flow Motion (Rob Whitworth)

Hub Airlines – Emirates (EK), flydubai (FZ)




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