The bigger get bigger while smaller airports suffer greatest loss

Published on : Thursday, October 12, 2017

ACIAirports Council International (ACI) has released the latest edition of the World Airport Traffic Report. ACI’s flagship publication, representing over 2,400 airports in 175 countries worldwide, reveals that the world’s mega-hubs achieved passenger traffic growth of 5.5% year over year in 2016.



There were 46 airports with over 40 million passengers per annum in 2016 as compared to 18 airports in 2006. After years of consolidation and capacity discipline on the part of many airlines, the mature markets such as Europe and North America experienced an important resurgence in air transport demand, particularly at many of its large hubs.



On the other hand, a relatively higher proportion of smaller airports with fewer than 1 million passengers in 2006 experienced a decline in passenger traffic by 2016 compared with other size categories. This proportion tends to decrease inversely as airports increase in size. By 2016, 27.4% of airports that had fewer than 1 million passengers per annum in 2006 experienced a loss in traffic over that period.



“Despite the net gains achieved in both traffic volumes and operational efficiency, especially at hubs in major city markets across the globe, the downside of airline capacity shifts is that a proportion of smaller regional airports have either stagnated or experienced a reduction in nonstop destinations between cities,” said Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World. “It is important to highlight that the reason smaller airports remain in operation hinges on the fact that they contribute to the local, social and economic development of their surrounding communities. Strategies to ensure their sustainability are important if we are to have a robust aviation system.”


In 2016, nine airports graduated to the 40 mppa category.


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