ACI World recently published its annual World Airport Traffic Dataset for the full year of 2021. Published in July, the report offers insights into the global air traffic rankings by type (domestic and freight) and region and is a respected industry reference.
The report reveals that in 2021, half of the world top twenty airports were US-based. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) topped the domestic flight list serving 75.7 million passengers. Ranking second and third were Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Denver (DEN) handling 62.5 million and 58.8 million, respectively.
As growth continues in 2022, and with significant investment on the horizon, there has never been a better time to future proof both passenger and cargo operations. We take a look at some of the other news from across the US aviation industry as airports begin to embrace the opportunities.
Grant rollout of $1 billion for 85 US airports
At the end of July, a total of $1 billion was granted to eighty-five airports to support plans for greater energy efficiency, in addition to capacity expansion and to modernize infrastructure.
According to many industry experts, the need for infrastructure improvement has never been greater. The funding has been widely welcomed, as many feel that years of underfunding have led to a decline in modernization.
For smaller airports, in particular, the recent fire-fighting approach to managing the budget may now be over. It is now hoped that additional grants and funding will enable the much-needed infrastructure improvements and further fuel aviation growth across the US.
The uptake of newer, more efficient technologies, such as bag tracking and cloud management platforms, for example, is now expected to become more widespread across the states.
Miami International Airport (MIA) is on course for its busiest year
Miami International Airport (MIA) is experiencing record-breaking levels of passenger traffic so far this year. On track for its busiest year ever, the airport expects to serve more than 50 million passengers.
The gateway to Florida may break its previous record, set in 2019 of 45.9 million passengers. Already serving 25.5 million during the first half of this year (2022), this represents an 8.5% increase over the same period of 2019.
This marks the second consecutive year of breaking records for MIA, as its cargo shipments also increased by 3.2% compared to last year. Ralph Cutie, MIA director, and CEO said, We are thrilled to see MIA reach new heights in 2022 and to be on track for our best traffic year ever.
Corpus Cristi International Airport (CCIA) to invest $1.8 million
CCIA has announced it is to be a recipient of $1.8 million from the US government $1 billion fund to improve some of the country’s struggling airports. The Texas-based hub intends to modernize both facilities and infrastructure, embracing some of the latest technologies.
Tyler Miller, Deputy Airport Director at CCIA said that with: a fresh inventory of assets and a fresh stream of revenue to be able to perform capital investment there will be new resources available to: create jobs, stimulate the economies of communities, and to create new opportunities for new innovation.
Trending technologies improving infrastructure
Increasing traffic demand brings its own set of challenges and pressure on airport infrastructure. With greater flexibility to invest, however, small-to-medium sized airports can begin to fully embrace technology to boost capacity, manage the numbers and enhance efficiency.
Smart solutions to manage both passengers and cargo have gained traction in recent times due to the need for scalability. What many airports are now finding is a completely new approach to airport management at every level, including the economic model.
Today, these technologies are streamlining core processes through automation, real-time data sharing, and accessibility, and are driving a wider change across the industry. As US airports enjoy successful growth and the promise of investment, it is an opportunity to fully embrace the latest solutions and truly future-proof the industry.