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Top global airports by passengers: 2010

Find out which airports handled the most passengers in 2010.
A clue to which airport handled the most passengers last year (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images).
A clue to which airport handled the most passengers last year (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images).
Atlanta is still the world's busiest passenger airport (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images).
Atlanta is still the world's busiest passenger airport (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images).
Beijing's rise and rise continues (AFP/Getty Images).
Beijing's rise and rise continues (AFP/Getty Images).
Chicago is still riding despite its on-time record (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images).
Chicago is still riding despite its on-time record (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images).
With ash clouds and freezing weather, it wasn't a great year for Heathrow (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images).
With ash clouds and freezing weather, it wasn't a great year for Heathrow (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images).
Tokyo remains the fifth busiest international airport (Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images).
Tokyo remains the fifth busiest international airport (Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images).
Re-development is planned at LAX (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images).
Re-development is planned at LAX (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images).
Paris CDG is down one place at seven.
Paris CDG is down one place at seven.
DFW is the home of American Airlines (AFP/Getty).
DFW is the home of American Airlines (AFP/Getty).
Frankfurt is the starting point for many of Lufthansa's international flights.
Frankfurt is the starting point for many of Lufthansa's international flights.
Denver is a hub airport for Southwest.
Denver is a hub airport for Southwest.

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The numbers are in, and it appears that the world’s airports fared much better in 2010 than in 2009.

According to ACI, which collects data from around 900 airports worldwide, airports collectively handled more than 5 billion passengers in 2010, growth of 6.3% year on year

ACI counts each passenger embarking and disembarking, with transit passengers counted just once.

Amongst the ten busiest airports, nine experienced year on year passenger growth, with only one seeing a decline in numbers.

Read below to find out which airports handled the most passengers in 2010.

1. Atlanta (ATL)
Passengers:
89 331 622
Growth: 1.5%
About: The world’s busiest passenger airport in 2010 was once again Atlanta, which is a major hub airport for domestic US traffic. The airport’s traffic peaked at just over 90 million passengers in 2008 and is surely set to return to that level in 2011.

2. Beijing (PEK)
Passengers:
73 891 801
Growth: 13.0%
About: Beijing spectacular rise up the rankings continues, propelled by the country’s continued economic growth. In 2008, Beijing was eighth on this list with 55.9 million passengers. In 2009, it moved up to third and in 2010, it overtook Heathrow to become the world’s second busiest passenger airport.

3. Chicago (ORD)

Passengers:66 665 390
Growth: 3.3%
About: Rising one place from 2009 is Chicago O’Hare International. Traffic is still some way down, however, from its high of 2005, when the airport handled 76.5 million passengers. The airport is known for the relatively large number of flight delays and cancellations caused by bad weather. The airport is currently realigning its runways, which once used to intersect with each other, in an effort to help remedy the problem.

4. London Heathrow (LHR)
Passengers:
65 884 143
Growth: -0.2%
About: Heathrow is the main loser on this list, falling from second overall in 2009 to fourth in 2010. It is the only airport in the top ten to experience a year on year fall in passengers, after being hit by the volcanic ash cloud in April and freezing weather in December. It was recently ranked worst airport in the world by members of Priority Pass, an airport lounge membership programme.

5. Tokyo (HND)
Passengers:
64 069 098
Growth: 3.4%
About: Staying in fifth place is Tokyo, which handed just over 64 million passengers in 2010. That was increase of 3.4% year on year, though still below the pre-crisis high of 66.8 million passengers achieved in 2007.

6. Los Angeles (LAX)
Passengers:
58 915 100
Growth: 4.2%
About: Rising one place from 2009 is LAX. Despite high traffic numbers, the airport tends to rank highly in worst airport surveys. A decision was made in 2009 to redevelop LAX, which, according to one member of the LA Board of Airport Commissioners, hasn’t changed much since 1984. Work will focus on the Tom Bradley Terminal, which is the main arrival and departure point for international flights.

7. Paris (CDG)
Passengers:
58 167 062
Growth: 0.4%
About: Down one place from the previous year is Paris Charles de Gaulle. Despite its general unpopularity with passengers, the airport’s status as Air France’s home keeps it flying high in the rankings. Passenger traffic grew 0.4 year on year, nudging it back towards its pre-crisis high of 60.87 million passengers in 2008.

8. Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)
Passengers:
56 905 066
Growth: 1.6%
About: Another US airport bouncing back after a terrible 2009 is Dallas/Fort Worth. Passenger traffic grew 1.6% in 2010, almost touching the 60 million mark. Its pre-crisis high was 60.22 million passengers in 2006.

9. Frankfurt (FRA)
Passengers:
53 009 221
Growth: 4.1%
About: The third European airport on this list experienced 4.1% annual passenger growth, more than Heathrow and Paris CDG. It is located at the heart of the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main region, a densely populated area in central Europe. A fourth runway is scheduled to go into operation at the airport next year, further increasing potential capacity.

10. Denver (DEN)
Passengers:
52 211 242
Growth: 4.1%
About: Denver was the second fastest growing, in terms of passengers, out of the five US airports in this top ten. Denver claims to be the largest airport by land area in the US and is the main hub for Frontier Airlines and Great Lakes Airlines as well as a major hub for United Airlines and Southwest. It is famous for its many works of art and its use of solar panels to generate a portion of its energy.

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