With global traffic expected to surpass the 8 billion passengers in 2017, forecasts reveal that traffic will continue to rise rapidly in the short-term based on a projected compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5% per annum. Over the long run it is projected to grow at an annualized rate of 4.5%, reaching 22.3 billion by 2040. Physical capacity considerations and potential bottlenecks in air transport infrastructure pose challenges in accommodating future demand.
Since infrastructure projects are costly and often disruptive, a data-driven understanding of future demand—such as the expected number of aircraft movements, passenger traffic throughput and air cargo volumes—provides airport planners and investors the necessary information to build effective development strategies.
As such, Airports Council International (ACI) has released the latest edition of the World Airport Traffic Forecasts (WATF) 2017–2040. Boasting traffic forecasts for over 100 country markets, the WATF dataset presents detailed metrics which include total number of passengers (broken down into international and domestic traffic), total air cargo and total aircraft movements. Absolute figures, compounded annual growth rates (CAGR), market shares and global growth contributions are presented over three-time horizons: short-, medium- and long-term over the 2017–2040 period.
In addition to global forecasts, regional estimates have been developed for Asia-Pacific, Africa, Europe, Latin America-Caribbean, Middle East and North America. Airport traffic projections are also presented for major economic groupings such as emerging versus advanced economies, BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States), MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey) and more.
The WATF is distributed in a standard EXCEL format and includes analyses, summary tables, predicted rankings and charts as well as the full dataset of forecasts. For a detailed understanding of the methodologies used to produce the forecasts, please refer to the ACI Guide to World Airport Traffic Forecasts.