(Tokyo Shimbun: February 25, 2016 – p. 6)
The Haneda Airport Office of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism disclosed on Feb. 24 that the number of passengers who used Haneda Airport in 2015 totaled 75.32 million (preliminary data), an increase of 3.4 percent from the previous year and the highest number on record since the airport opened. However, Haneda Airport is expected to place fifth in the global ranking in 2015, down from fourth in 2014. Haneda Airport officials failed to realize their long-cherished wish to have the airport place within the top three in the world.
According to the ranking of the Airports Council International (ACI), Atlanta in the U.S., Beijing in China, and Heathrow in the U.K. are usually the top three airports. The highest ranking Haneda has ever achieved is fourth. There were growing expectations that Haneda would rank higher because the number of landing and takeoff slots for international flights was expanded from 60,000 to 90,000 per year and the number of foreign visitors to Japan has sharply increased.
According to the statistics for each airport, Haneda topped Heathrow Airport, which came in third in 2014. Heathrow handled 74.96 million passengers in 2015. However, Haneda is expected to be overtaken by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates with an estimated 78.01 million passengers and Chicago O’Hare International Airport with an estimated 76.95 million passengers, which placed sixth and seventh, respectively, in 2014. (Slightly Abridged)