The Staggering Number of People Who Fly in a Year
When I was 12-years old, I saw the original "Superman" movie with Christopher Reeve.
When he breaks into the suit for the first time and saves Lois Lane with one hand and handles a free-falling helicopter with the other, he gently puts both down and says to Lois, who is still in shock, "... well I hope this hasn't put you off on flying...statistically speaking, it's still the safest way to travel."
I feel terrible for the woman who lost her life on a Southwest Airlines flight this week. The cool headed pilot kept the situation from escalating into an even worse tragedy.
But when you look at the top 20 airports in the world and how many people traveled through those airports in 2017, it's EXTRAORDINARY this week's incident, while tragic, is a statistical aberration.
So, who's got the busiest airport in the world? A new survey from the Airports Council International (ACI) trade group says it's the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. That's not exactly a surprise, since it's the 20th year in a row that it's gotten the title, thanks to having the most passengers pass through.
The top-20, ranked by number of passengers (with last year's ranking in parentheses).
20. Denver (DEN) 61.3 million passengers (18th).
19. Seoul/Incheon (ICN): 62.1 million passengers (20th).
18. Singapore Changi (SIN): 62.2 million passengers (17th).
17. Jakarta/Soekarno-Hatta (CGK): 63.0 million passengers (19th).
16. New Delhi (DEL): 63.4 million passengers (22nd). 15. Istanbul Atatürk (IST): 63.8 million passengers (14th).
14. Frankfurt (FRA): 64.5 million passengers (13th).
13. Guangzhou, China (CAN): 65.8 million passengers (15th). 12. Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) 67.0 million passengers (11th).
11. Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS): 68.5 million passengers (12th). 10. Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG): 69.9 million passengers (10th).
9. Shanghai Pudong (PVG): 70.0 million passengers (9th).
8. Hong Kong (HKG): 72.6 million passengers (8th).
7. London Heathrow (LHR): 78.0 million passengers (7th).
6. Chicago O'Hare (ORD) 79.8 million passengers (6th). 5. Los Angeles (LAX) 84.5 million passengers (4th).
4. Tokyo Haneda (HND): 85.4 million passengers (5th).
3. Dubai International (DXB): 88.2 million passengers (3rd).
2. Beijing (PEK): 95.7 million passengers (2). 1. Atlanta (ATL): 103.9 million passengers (also first last year)
FYI: NYC's Kennedy Airport, which was in 16th place in 2016, fell out of the top 20 because of increased passenger traffic in Asia.
The sheer volume of people who travel safely every day is truly remarkable and a testament to those who work in the industry, despite the recent Southwest tragedy and CBS-TV's scathing "60 Minutes" piece on Allegiant Airlines.