Travel: Dubai to become world’s busiest airport next year

Dubai International Airport expects to become the world’s busiest within this decade, overtaking Beijing and Atlanta, spurred on by the expansion of Emirates airline, according to Bloomberg.

The airport, which overtook London Heathrow, sees passenger traffic climbing to 83 million this year from 78 million last year and expects 90 million people using the facility next year, Paul Griffiths, the chief executive officer of Dubai Airports, told Bloomberg TV in an interview.

“The growth rates that we are experiencing are more than double what is being experienced by both Beijing and Atlanta,” Griffiths said. “Within perhaps this decade, we should see ourselves exceeding the total traffic through those airports for the number 1 absolute spots.”

Dubai, already the world’s busiest airport by international traffic, added 7.5 million passengers last year. While Atlanta Hartfield-Jackson, the main hub for Delta Air Lines Inc, remains the busiest, it only processed 5.3 million additional passengers for a total of 101.5 million. Beijing airport added 3.8 million to reach 89.9 million.

Dubai airport, which faced a more than five-hour shutdown in August following the crash-landing of an Emirates jet, said the incident didn’t affect its annual traffic target. The country’s civil aviation regulator is continuing with the investigation and has released an interim report. Griffiths said he can’t “speculate on the outcome.”