The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) data show that three airports in the greater D.C. area saw over 36 million passengers enplaned in 2018, nearly a million more than the previous year.
FAA updated its annual airport statistics with figures from last year on July 18. With the latest addition, it has become possible to make comparisons of aviation performance across the nation between 2018 and earlier years.
According to those data, the top three busiest U.S. airports with respect to passenger traffic in 2018 were Hartsfield – Jackson Atlanta International (51.86 million passengers), Los Angeles International (42.62 million passengers) and Chicago O’Hare International (39.87 million passengers), unchanged from 2017. None of the D.C. metro area airports made it to top 20.
Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) ranked 22nd nationally in 2018, same as the previous year, with 13.37 million enplanements, up from 12.97 million in 2017.
Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), too, saw more passengers boarding and gained one position, from 26th to 25th, on the list of busiest airports with an enplanement performance of 11.62 million in 2018, from 11.02 million the year before.
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), on the other hand, lost two positions in the 2018 ranking. It recorded 11.36 million enplanements at the 26th spot last year, down from 11.50 in 2017 when it was rather the 24th busiest airport nationally.
The annual report covers the 568 airports across the nation with commercial service in 2018, all the way down to Ambler Airport in Ambler, Alaska, which reported 2,501 passengers for the year.
Of the nation’s 30 largest airports, only three other than DCA reported passenger declines last year: Minneapolis-St. Paul International/Wold Chamberlain, Chicago Midway International and Daniel K Inouye International in Honolulu.
BWI in Top 25 Busiest Cargo Airports Nationally
As for cargo, the busiest U.S. airports were in Tennessee, Alaska and Kentucky. Last year, Memphis International in Tennessee saw 24 million pounds of cargo landing; being positioned at the very top of the list. Ted Stevens Anchorage in Alaska and Louisville Muhammad Ali ranked second and third with a performance of over 18 and 14 million pounds of cargo, respectively.
From the states of Virginia and Maryland, as well as D.C., in this part of the country, the only airport that made it to the top 25 was BWI, which ranked 25th on the list of busiest airports with a performance of 1.2 million pounds of cargo last year, up from 0.94 million pounds the year before.
IAD ranked 56th on the same list, after seeing 480 thousand pounds of cargo landings in 2018. Norfolk International and Roanoke-Blacksburg, again from Virginia, ranked 94th and 111st, respectively. DCA was not on the list.