Beijing’s airport soars to second busiest
March 18, 2011

China, the superlative capital of the world is always aiming to build the tallest building, the largest garden, the longest noodle, the most in manufacturing, the highest number of internet users, the most number of cars, the fastest computer, is aiming to add another feather to its cap. Beijing Capital International Airport surpassed London’s Heathrow Airport in passenger traffic and became the second busiest airport in the world last year, according to a report released by the Airports Council International (ACI). Numbers of travelers of the Beijing Airport rose 13 percent to 73.9 million last year, according to the ACI. Hong Kong International Airport has overtaken FedEx’s hub at Memphis International Airport in air cargo volume at 4.17 million tons, up 23 per cent compared to FedEx of 3.9 million tons with a rise of 5.9 per cent.

Beijing accelerated up the ACI list from 14th five years previous, a position now shared by Guangzhou and Shanghai. Its trajectory of double-digit growth is unlikely to let up with air travel expanding at twice the rate of China ‘s economy and projected to grow by 20 per cent per year, London ‘s aerospace analyst Nick Cunningham told Bloomberg. “We’re really only scratching the surface and there’s still unsatisfied demand,” he said of a growth only hampered by low numbers of trained aircrew and pilots.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the United States remained in top spot on the list while Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport rose to the third place, with 66.7 million passengers in 2010. London’s Heathrow Airport dropped to the fourth from the second place due to sluggish British economy and the vocano eruption in Iceland.

Hong Kong’s cargo volume surged 23 percent to 4.17 million tons last year. Shanghai Pudong International Airport was the third busist cargo airport in 2010, with its volume rising 27.1 percent to 3.23 million tons. Shanghai took the third-busiest cargo airport along with busiest container port boosted by import boom for luxury goods from its growing millionaires and a healthy export growth of 31 per cent.

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