8 fascinating facts about the busiest airport in the world, which sees 107 million passengers a year and employs 63,000 people


Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest airport in the world.

The sprawling airport in Georgia’s biggest city sees more than 100 million passengers a year, and nearly 300,000 every day.

To support such a big operation, the airport employs more than 60,000 people, making it the biggest employer in the state of Georgia.

Read on for eight fascinating facts about the world’s busiest airport.


The Atlanta airport sees more than 107 million passengers a year — or nearly 300,000 every day

Hartsfield-Jackson earned the title of world’s busiest airport after it saw more than 107 million passengers in 2018. That’s nearly 300,000 passengers going through the airport every day.

For comparison, the busiest theme park in the world, Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, sees less than a fifth of that attendance every day.


The airport has been the busiest in the world for 21 consecutive years

Nadezda Murmakova/Shutterstock

Not only was Hartsfield-Jackson the busiest airport in the world in 2018, it’s held that title for 21 consecutive years.

The airport has topped 100 million passengers for four straight years. However, it still loses to Chicago O’Hare International Airport in terms of total flights.


There is a river that runs under the airport

The Flint River, which starts just North of the airport, actually winds its way underneath the airport.

The river isn’t what you would expect. You’ll find most of it in ditches along roadways and flowing through pipes under Atlanta. The river tunnels under the airport, eventually meets up with the Chattahoochee River at the Florida border, then goes on to form the Apalachicola River and empties into the Gulf of Mexico.

An organisation dedicated to restoring and revitalizing the river, called Finding the Flint, is funded by American Rivers, The Conservation Fund, and the Atlanta Regional Commission.


There is a 5K race held every year on one of the runways

Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport/Facebook

Runway 10-28, the fifth runway at the airport, plays host to the aptly named 5K on the 5th Runway every year.

The race bears the slogan, “You’ve flown over it. You’ve driven under it. Now run on it.”

It’s considered one of the flattest and fastest courses in the Atlanta area, and the funds raised from the race go toward Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ Youth Scholarship Program.


The airport was originally a race track

Thomas Barrat/Shutterstock

Hartsfield-Jackson is located on an abandoned racetrack once known as the Atlanta Speedway. The track was owned by Coca-Cola founder and former Atlanta mayor Asa Candler, and operated from 1909 through the early 1920s.

As part of an agreement to let the city develop the space into an airfield, Atlanta mayor Walter Sims agreed to name the new site Candler Field.

Today, Delta’s corporate headquarters sits in what was the northern end of the track.


There are rotating and permanent art exhibits between the terminals

Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images

Though most passengers take the airport train to and from different terminals, those who walk can find the walls lined with artwork.

One of the airport’s permanent exhibits is along the walking concourse between terminals B and C. It is a comprehensive history of Atlanta.

Other rotating exhibits feature diverse displays from photos of Antarctica to artwork by local students.


The airport employs 63,000 people

A whopping 63,000 people work at the Atlanta airport, including airline, ground transportation, concessionaire, security, federal government, City of Atlanta and airport tenant employees, according to USA Today.

The airport is Georgia’s largest employer.


There are six Starbucks in the airport

Starbucks fans need not worry – if you’re catching a flight in Atlanta, you’ll have six opportunities to visit your favourite coffee chain.

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