Chicago O’Hare and Atlanta battle for title of busiest airport — again

Chicago O’Hare International Airport is once again officially the busiest airport in the U.S. in terms of aircraft operations, jumping ahead of Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson for the first time since 2014.

According to Federal Aviation Administration data, O’Hare handled more than 903,000 arrivals and departures during 2018, just ahead of Atlanta which had 895,000 arrivals and departures.

But ATL – citing passenger volume— is still claiming the title of busiest airport, which it says it has held for 20 consecutive years.

“Preliminary statistics show that in 2018, ATL served 107,394,029 passengers, a 3.33 percent increase over 2017’s total. These numbers are based on ATL’s Air Service Development figures, and once verified this spring by Airports

Council International (ACI), ATL will officially hold the distinction for 21 consecutive years. ACI is the only global trade representative of the world’s airport authorities,” said ATL in its official release.

Furthermore, says ATL, it remains the only airport in the world to surpass 100 million travelers in a year.

On Feb. 4, 2019, (“Super Bowl LIII Mass Exodus Day”) ATL reports that TSA officers broke the previous single-day screening record by nearly 9 %, reaching 101,999 passengers.

In terms of aircraft movements, Los Angeles International Airport was third busiest with Dallas Fort Worth and Denver rounding out the top five.