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    O'Hare widens lead as nation's busiest airport

    Though passenger traffic growth has slowed a bit amid the 737 Max woes, flight operations were up 1.8 percent last year, adding to?Chicago's lead over Atlanta.

    Newscom

    O'Hare International Airport

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    On a day in which who and what is arriving at O’Hare International Airport certainly is making news,79彩票注册网址 federal officials reported that the big airfield's business continues on an upslope.

    According to new FAA data, flight operations at O’Hare grew to 919,704 last year, up 1.8 percent from 2018.

    That means the Chicago airfield not only remains the busiest commercial field in the country but it’s expanding its lead, with second-place Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson rising a more modest 1 percent, to 904,301 flight operations.

    Trailing immediately behind were Dallas/Ft. Worth (720,000, up 7.9 percent), Los Angeles International (691,000, down 2.3 percent) and Denver International (640,000, up 6.1 percent).

    What’s most interesting is how O’Hare is doing better now compared to itself.

    79彩票注册网址For well over a decade, total operations—the combined number of arrivals and departures—stalled at a bit under 900,000 at O'Hare. For instance, according to the FAA, for the period 2010 to 2013, annual operations averaged 880,000, with the figure dropping to 873,000 from 2014 to 2017.

    Now, with federal flight caps gone and United and American airlines in particular adding lots of flights, an apparent corner has been turned. That explains why the city and the carriers are pushing an $8.5 billion expansion of O’Hare’s gate capacity—79彩票注册网址the airport literally is out of space to park aircraft.

    That having been said, O'Hare passenger growth has slowed down, perhaps in part because of the grounding of the 737 Max.

    , total passenger volume was up 1.41 percent from the same period in 2018, but customs traffic was down 0.68 percent and total cargo tonnage 3.19 percent.

    Midway Airport slowed down a bit in 2019. According to the new FAA data, it handled 232,084 flight operations, down 4.6 percent. Midway’s dominant carrier, Southwest Airlines, was a big 737 Max user.

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