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Atlanta – sustainability efforts for the city with the busiest airport in the world

February 14, 2024
Atlanta airport reigns supreme on passenger numbers

Remaining in pole position, with an increase of 23,8% per cent in 2022 compared to 2021, Atlanta reigns supreme on passenger numbers. Retaining the title since 1997, it looks like Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is going nowhere for now.

Atlanta airport reigns supreme on passenger numbers

Hartsfield-Jackson is, proudly, the busiest airport in the world — yet again, according to the Airports Council International’s world traffic report, which was released April 5, 2023. That makes 24 years for Hartsfield-Jackson International. For 22 years in a row, the airport secured the top position until it was displaced in 2020 by the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in Southern China. However, it reclaimed the No. 1 spot in 2021.

There were a total of 93, 699, 630 passengers at ATL in 2022.

Atlanta continues to dominate the passenger market because of its location as a major connecting hub and port of entry into North America. It’s within a two-hour flight of 80% of the United States population of more than 300 million people.

Delta served more than 190 million customers in 2023 — safely, reliably and with industry-leading customer service innovation – and was again recognized as North America’s most on-time airline.

But Atlanta, the city, has advantages other than Delta that make it a good place to fly into and out of, not to mention a smart spot for airlines to do business. The weather is generally good — meaning fewer delays and cancelled flights — and there is little competition for the airspace around Hartsfield-Jackson. Unlike places like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and many others, in Atlanta, there’s not another big airport within 150 miles.

With the relative certainty that flights will get in and out with little problem — and the ability to offer more flights because of that certainty — means that Atlanta is an attractive place for low-cost airlines. Frontier, Southwest and Spirit are big players at the Atlanta airport, too.

The sheer size of Atlanta’s airport is stunning: it employs more than 63,000 people, covers more than 47,000 acres, has more than 30,000 parking spots, and features 263 concessions, 193 gates (and with more coming) on seven concourses and five runways.

Hartsfield-Jackson also topped the list as the world’s busiest in aircraft movements, with 724,000 movements, a 2.3 percent increase over 2021. The Air Transport Research Society (ATRS) at the University of Maryland has named ATL the most efficient airport in the world 19 times, including again in 2022.

Delta Air Lines is enhancing its sustainability efforts by replacing plastic cups with improved paper ones onboard. These new cups are designed to handle hot, cold, and alcoholic beverages without a plastic lining. Amid criticism of airlines for insufficient sustainability measures, Delta aims to address its environmental impact by taking immediate actions, such as introducing eco-friendly paper cups. This move aligns with the airline’s commitment to embedding sustainability in its operations. Chief Sustainability Officer Amelie DeLuca emphasized the importance of addressing the impact within their control, highlighting these cups as a visible and tangible step towards a more sustainable future.

Do you represent or are directly or indirectly linked to this reality of Atlanta’s airport? What solutions do you adopt, what actions to implement, and what role can you play to ensure the sustainability of ATL and all its stakeholders? Join us in Atlanta in March 2024 for sustainability discussions regarding Atlanta.

CSE’s Certified Sustainability (ESG) Practitioner Program, Leadership Edition 2024, takes over Atlanta March 8-11 & 12, 2024 to help sustainability professionals rise to any occasion. This challenging live via online zoom sessions sustainability training offered by Center for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) aims to give you all the latest tools and resources required to implement or upscale existing sustainability initiatives taking place in your organization.

Sign up today or reach us for in-house training opportunities at [email protected]

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