Monday, August 16, 2010

America's Busiest Airports

Here are the top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by January-May 2010 Total Scheduled Enplanements (domestic and international passengers), according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

What is the busiest airport in the U.S.?  Hint: It's not even close, the #1 airport has 43% more traffic than the #2 airport.  Notice also that 8 out of the 10 busiest airports are in the South, and 7 out of 10 are in Right-to-work states. 


At 8/16/2010 5:06 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

I agree with your quick analysis, but I wanted to point out another reason traffic at ATL looks so much higher than that at ORD (Chicago-Ohare), DFW, and IAH (Houston Intercontental). Southwest Airlines has siphoned off a considerable number of enplanements to Chicago - Midway, Dallas - Love Field, and Houston - Hobby. There is no competing airport in Atlanta, and Southwest has not entered that city.

Even if ORD and MDW domestic traffic were combined, ATL would still be number 1. But Chicago's combined numbers would be closer.

At 8/16/2010 11:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Quite a surprise. O'Hare was #1 for years.

I agree with JB's caveats. Airlines' long-term contracts for hubs might explain it. You may be correct that labor costs and/or taxes have something to do with the shift in airline hubs.

Very interesting find doctor.

At 8/17/2010 12:13 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Bureau of Transportation Statistics provides data about domestic traffic at U.S. airports. Here's the changes over the past 10 years:

Biggest losers, 1999 to 2009

STL (St Louis)
PIT (Pittsburgh)
CVG (Cincinatti)
ORD (Chicago - Ohare)
EWR (Newark)
LAX (Los Angeles)
CLE (Cleveland)

Biggest gainers, 1999 to 2009

DEN (Denver)
CLT (Charlotte)
JFK (NY Kennedy)
LAS (Las Vegas)
PHL (Philadelphia)
FLL (Fort Lauderdale)
MDW (Chicago - Midway)

JetBlue accounts for much of the gains at JFK. Southwest is the main reason that PHL and MDW have increased. FLL's growth is led by three LCC's - Spirit, Southwest, and JetBlue.

STL leads the loser list now that American has finally eliminated the former TWA hub there.


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