Why is Heathrow Airport so crowded

Giants among the airports

Hartsfield - Jackson Atlanta International Airport

{module Note-it (Atlanta)}

Atlanta is an exception among the largest airports in the world. And not just because it is the largest - 88 million passengers in 2009 or an average of almost 240,000 a day streamed through its halls - but also because it is the only one in the Atlanta region: unlike the metropolises of New York , Chicago, London, Paris or Tokyo, the greater Atlanta area, and indeed the entire "Old South", has only one single gateway at which regional and intercontinental air traffic must be handled. And despite its size, it almost looks a little provincial when you look at the airlines that use it. Because just a handful of foreign airlines - Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air France, Air Jamaica, British Airways, KLM, Korean Air and Lufthansa - fly to this largest hub in the world; The home airline Delta Airlines alone takes care of around 60 percent of the total traffic volume.

ATL - Atlanta Airport

London Heathrow Airport

{module Note-it (London)}

What had been hailed for years as the pride and future jewel of British aviation turned into the "disgrace of the nation" in a matter of hours. The new Terminal 5 at London Heathrow, which had been planned for 20 years and six more built, the opening of which not only Heathrow's home airline British Airways had eagerly awaited - its commissioning went as far as it could go wrong. The modern baggage handling system - 18 kilometers of belt - with defective software practically paralyzed the check-in building on its first day of operation on March 27, 2008. In total, more than 245 British Airways flights had to be canceled in the first few days, and passengers lucky enough to get on boarded usually reached their destination without baggage. Around 28,000 suitcases got stuck in the bowels of the new building and some could only be delivered to their owners weeks later. The scandalous story that could still be heard from London Heathrow days after the opening could only have grist on the mill for many passengers who were not particularly sympathetic to the largest of the five London airports. Because LHR, the IATA code for the airport that handles most international passengers worldwide, is also one of the most unpopular airports, as passenger surveys repeatedly show.

LHR - London Heathrow Airport

Beijing Capital International Airport

{module Note-it (Beijing)}

Just like China, which is aiming for a top position in the world economy in the medium term, the capital Beijing is also in the fast lane. And that is expressed not least at the largest airport in the city (and the country), because within a decade Beijing Capital International Airport has made the leap from largely insignificant into the top trio of the world rankings.

PEK - Beijing Capital International Airport

Chicago O'Hare International Airport

{module Note-it (Chicago)}

For decades it was the biggest - not just in the US, but around the world. But true to the motto "We lift ourselves to death", the airport eventually suffocated from its own gigantic growth in traffic. As one of the few airports in the world, the Chicago O'Hare is the hub for two airlines: United Airlines has its headquarters in Chicago and American Arilines has its home airport in Dallas / Ft in ORD. Worth their second largest hub, where they bundle the flights to Europe and Asia. But the congestion was not so much the result of these two largest local airlines as of the infrastructure that has grown and overgrown over the decades. More precisely, on the layout of its runway system, the runways of which crossed (d) each other several times and therefore could not be used to the extent that would have been necessary.

Tokyo International Airport

{module Note-it (Tokyo)}

In contrast to Tokyo's second Narita Airport, where most of the international flights depart from the greater Tokyo area, Tokyo International Airport, also known as Haneda Airport, has been handling almost exclusively domestic flights in recent years - apart from three point-to-point services to Seoul in South Korea as well as to the Chinese metropolis Shanghai and Hong Kong. But although the majority of the flights from Haneda go to domestic Japanese destinations, it is not only the second largest airport in Asia, but also the fifth largest in the world.