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Atlanta airport again ranks as world’s busiest, but title could be in jeopardy

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100 million passengers in 2017 marks 20th year in a row ATL has reigned supreme

A four-story arching metal tube system above the entry drive for the airport.
Under construction now is this four-story, arching metal tube system above one entry drive, serving what’s still the “world’s busiest.”

Surprising literally no one, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has again ranked as the world’s busiest, with more than 100 million passengers moved in 2017.

This year marks two decades running for Atlanta as air travel heavyweight champion of the world. (But let’s remember, it’s not technically the “world’s busiest” airport any longer—it’s the kinder, gentler “most visited.”)

The title, however, could be in jeopardy, as Beijing’s and Dubai’s airports continue to grow in flyership.

Atlanta has tallied more than 100 million passengers for three years in a row now, although its numbers have dropped slightly since 2016, when it counted just shy of 104 million travelers, according to Conde Nast Traveler.

Meanwhile, Beijing Capital International Airport watched a cool 94 million passengers in 2016 leap to nearly 96 million last year.

Still, that spike is small potatoes relative to the 5 percent increase seen at Dubai International, which holds the belt for world’s busiest airport for international flyers, according to the magazine.

As for the renovation projects and developments underway at and around Atlanta’s aero hub, we’ll just call that prep work for next year’s championship.