Chicago, IL, 2018-Apr-10 — /Travel PR News/ — Airports Council International (ACI) World today released its preliminary airport traffic rankings showing that O’Hare International Airport ranked sixth for total passenger traffic in 2017 and was among the top 20 airports in the world for total cargo volume. O’Hare is among only a few airports worldwide that rank in the top 20 for both passenger volume and cargo tonnage – two leading indicators of an airport’s economic strength.
Chicago-O’Hare continues to be in high demand by passengers as well as businesses worldwide based on its desirable market and geographic location. The recently announced terminal expansion plans will further elevate O’Hare’s standing in the global aviation system.
“ACI World’s airport traffic rankings for 2017 confirm what we already know-Chicago is a leading hub for travel as well as trade,” said Ginger S. Evans, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Aviation. “With more travelers today than ever before, and with the industry expected to grow steadily through 2030, modern infrastructure is required to support leading hubs in growing to serve passengers efficiently for the long term. Chicago is already planning ahead with an expansion at O’Hare that will continue fueling its leading international connectivity for passenger, as well as cargo, needs around the world.”
In 2017, O’Hare saw steady growth and achieved record-breaking passenger volume and cargo tonnage. O’Hare handled 79.8 million passengers in 2017, representing a steady 2.4 percent increase over 2016 and marking the highest total in the airport’s history. Total air cargo tonnage handled at O’Hare was approximately 1.9 million tons, representing a nearly 12 percent increase over the previous record for the airport also set in 2016.
The ACI rankings underscore the timeliness of bringing forward a significant eight year capital expansion program, which will deliver 25 percent more gates and an addition 3 million terminal square footage-all to enable O’Hare to grow to serve nearly 100 million passengers by 2026.
With more travelers today than ever before, and with the industry expected to grow steadily through 2030, modern infrastructure is required to support leading hubs in growing to serve passengers efficiently for the long term. Chicago is already planning ahead to build a foundation to fuel its leading international connectivity for passenger, as well as cargo, needs around the world.
ACI World acknowledged the importance that airports have on the economy today, with Director General Angela Gittens noting, “The world’s airports continue to be a vital link in the economic multiplier effect that aviation provides and the role it plays as an enabler for global commerce is growing.”
A larger O’Hare-with more passenger traffic as well as additional visitor spending, as well as flight options-will contribute an even greater additional economic impact for the community, with an additional $16 billion annual economic impact over today. Beyond 2026, a larger O’Hare will create an additional 60,000 permanent jobs in Cook County annually on top of the 400,000 annual jobs created by the airport today.
Chicago’s major investment in cargo operations at O’Hare has contributed to significant growth in cargo activity in recent years-with an estimated more than $170 billion tonnage in 2017 securing Chicago’s spot as a top five global port of entry for cargo (for air, land, or sea) by value. A third installment in O’Hare’s north cargo campus is being planned now in response to the strong demand for moving air cargo through O’Hare to markets around the world.
SOURCE: Chicago Department of Aviation