September 18, 2019: Airports Council International (ACI) World has released the latest World Airport Traffic Report showcasing the top airports for passengers, cargo and aircraft movements and highlighted the world's fastest-growing airports in 2018.
The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi, Kenya secured number 2 position after Chicago Rockford International Airport, US, in terms of fastest-growing airports, which has handled over 2,50,000 metric tonnes of air cargo. JKIA has handled 3, 42,579 metric tonnes of cargo.
Nairobi Airport was followed by Liege Airport, Belgium; Xi'An Xianyang International Airport, China; and Philadelphia International Airport, US. Rockford's traffic grew 56.6 percent in 2018, as it positioned itself as an e-commerce freight hub for online retail giant Amazon.
The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) attributed the increased air cargo to the entry of modern transit sheds which have increased annual overall cargo to 1.2 million tonnes, the latest being the Mitchell Cotts, a leading cargo and logistics company which is building a new shed at the airport.
"Once complete, the new development is expected to inject an additional annual capacity of 150,000 metric tonnes at the airport," stated KAA in a press statement as reported by the Nation.
Last year, Astral Aviation, a cargo airline operating from JKIA, acquired three B747-400 cargo aircraft to boost its freight capacity and expand its network.
The world's top three airports for passenger traffic volume - Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Beijing Capital International Airport, and Dubai International Airport, respectively - have held their positions while Los Angeles International Airport (fourth) and Tokyo International Airport (fifth) have swapped places in the top five from last year.
"The World Airport Traffic Report shows that, even as smaller airports around the world continue to make strong gains, the largest hub airports continue to grow," ACI World director general Angela Gittens said. "There were 16 airports handling more than 40 million passengers per annum in 2008 and there are now 54.
The report found that, in total, the world's airports accommodated 8.8 billion passengers, 122.7 million metric tonnes of cargo, and 99.9 million aircraft movements.
"Collectively, these airports achieved a year-over-year passenger traffic growth of 5.1 percent in 2018 which is significant considering a large proportion of these airports are in the mature and capacity-constrained markets of North America and Europe."
Most of the world's fastest-growing airports are located in emerging markets, a significant proportion of them being in the Asia-Pacific region. As many as 12 of the fastest-growing top 30 airports in 2018 are located in either China or India.
"Major Russian airports also experienced significant gains in traffic following on from difficult economic times in 2015 and 2016 and they also received a boost in traffic numbers as a result of the FIFA World Cup."
As regards total cargo volumes, the top five airports - Hong Kong International Airport, Memphis International Airport, Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Incheon International Airport, and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport all held their positions from the previous year, respectively.
Big movers were Los Angeles International Airport which jumped three places from thirteenth to tenth this year and Doha International Airport which advanced five places from sixteenth to eleventh.