Capital Airport world's 3rd busiest

March 17, 2010 | Posted by Chris

Last year Beijing's Capital Airport became the world's third busiest, overtaking Chicago's O'Hare as travel through Asia increased, according to Business Week. Total passenger traffic at the airport grew 17% last year, jumping to 65.3 million total travelers. At the top of the list is Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson airport, which since 1998 has perennially had the largest number of annual passengers and last year it saw almost 88 million total passengers, down 2.3% from 2008. London's Heathrow Airport comes in at second with 66 million passengers, a figure down 1.5% from the previous year. It's believed that Beijing Capital Aiport benefited from both China's 8.7% economic growth last year and the troubles of airlines that use Chicago O'Hare, whose biggest tenants made aggresive moves to cut costs -- resulting in an 8.8% decrease in traffic at O'Hare that in total saw 64.4 million passengers. Other international cities that gained in the rankings include Dubai, Bangkok and San Francisco; cities that saw their rankings drop include Las Vegas and Amsterdam. Aviation observers are sanguine about the prospects of growth in China, with one industry consultant commenting, "China didn't take a growth hiatus last year like the rest of the world did, and this shows how we better get used to the idea that China is a growing force in the aviation world."

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