World's busiest airport since 1998: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, US

Can you guess what the world's busiest airport is? We'll give you a clue: it's not Heathrow.

That may not have been the answer you were expecting, but full marks if you got it right. Either way, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International has been the world's busiest airport since 1998 (that's 19 years in a row), with more than 104 million passengers passing through its terminals in 2016, according to figures released last week – that's slightly more than the population of the Philippines.

Here are some more vital statistics.


The precise number of passengers that passed through the airport in 2016.


The amount of passengers that passed through Beijing Capital last year, making it the world's second busiest airport.


Number who fly annually on its busiest route, to Orlando, Florida. 



Number who fly on its busiest international route, to Amsterdam.


The biggest airline at Atlanta, by some margin, is Delta. It operates 73.20 per cent of flights. 


The airport's rating out of 10 according to the review site Skytrax. That's a lowly score, though many US airports are coming under fire with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regularly failing to get people through security quick enough.


Cities with non-stop services to Atlanta.


Per cent of US population within a two-hour flight of Atlanta, according to airport authorities.


Number of shops trying to get passengers to part with their cash in the airport. 


Food and beverage stores scattered throughout the airport. Do you want fries with that? 


Toilets in the airport.


Tonnes of rubbish produced daily at Hartsfield-Jackson.


Number of light bulbs used throughout the airport. 


Average price of a one-way domestic airline ticket from Atlanta.


Year the Atlanta Speedway, which previously occupied the site of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, was built. The race track was constructed by Asa Candler, who established the Coca-Cola Company, but his venture into motoring failed to gain traction and a year later the track was being used for air shows.


Cost of a Ford Model T in the early 1900s. Little wonder people had no interest in cars, say historians at Hartsfield-Jackson, who claim that after WWI defunct airplanes cost as little as $300. A new hobby was born. 


Year Atlanta Airport welcomed its first passenger plane, operated by Delta Air Service.


Year the first international flight took off from Atlanta Municipal Airport (now Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport).

But will it be the busiest airport for much longer? 

Though the airport has been dominant for more than a decade, if trends continue Dubai International Airport, which has grown rapidly in the last decade, will soon supplant Hartsfield-Jackson as the world's busiest. Beijing Capital is also likely to overtake it.

Top 10: The world's busiest airports (millions of passengers in 2016)

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport:104 million

Dubai International Airport: 83 million

Los Angeles International Airport: 80 million

Tokyo Haneda Airport: 79 million

O'Hare International Airport: 77 million

London Heathrow Airport: 75 million

Hong Kong International Airport: 70 million

Shanghai Pudong International Airport: 66 million

Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport: 65 million

The Telegraph, London

See also: World's best airport for 2016: Skytrax awards

See also: World's best airports to land in according to pilots

Listen: Flight of Fancy - the podcast with Ben Groundwater

Is being an expat the ultimate travel experience?

To subscribe to the podcast Flight of Fancy on iTunes, click here.