Occasionally status anxious Chicago can breathe a little easier: O’Hare was just certified the world’s busiest airport.
While 2014 traffic at O’Hare was down by 0.2 percent, it lost less traffic than the Atlanta airport, where traffic declined by 4.7 percent, according to new FAA data. O’Hare had 881,933 arrivals and departures; Atlanta had 868,359.
But the Atlanta airport is likely to retain the title of busiest airport for passenger traffic.
City officials have said international passenger volume have helped O’Hare totals. In the last 18 months, O’Hare and Midway airports added six new international airlines and dozens of destinations, according to the city.
O’Hare regains bragging rights to the title it had mostly owned since the dawn of the Jet Age, when it surpassed the number of flights at Midway Airport, which had been the leader.
As a transportation center, this looks good for Chicago. Yet, there are two more negative signs: Atlanta may still have more passengers (which number matters more?) and flights were down (Which may have more to do with airlines consolidating as well as trying to cut costs by filling existing flights). Additionally, the lead over Atlanta isn’t that big. I’m guessing this means the competition will continue for years to come and I am curious to know if Chicago and/or O’Hare have some plans in the works to keep their regained lead.