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The Race for Air Traffic: Europe's Busiest Airports

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Europe's busiest airports are a reflection of the region's economic and tourism importance. Here are the five busiest airports in Europe, according to data compiled by the Association of European Airports (ACI Europe) in 2021.

  1. Heathrow Airport, UK: With a total of 78.01 million passengers in 2021,  Heathrow is Europe's busiest airport. It is located in the west of London and is a major hub for intercontinental flights, as well as being the UK capital's main airport.
  2. Charles de Gaulle Airport, France: With a total of 65.86 million passengers in 2021, Charles de Gaulle Airport is the second busiest airport in Europe. It is located about 25 kilometres north of Paris and is France's main airport. It is known for being an important connecting point for intercontinental flights and is home to the airline Air France.
  3. Frankfurt Airport, Germany: With a total of 63.01 million passengers in 2021, Frankfurt Airport is the third busiest airport in Europe. It is located about 12 kilometres east of Frankfurt and is Germany's main airport. It is known for being an important connecting point for intercontinental flights and is home to the Lufthansa airline.
  4. Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport, Netherlands: With a total of 60.02 million passengers in 2021, Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport is the fourth busiest airport in Europe. It is located about 9 kilometres southwest of Amsterdam and is the main airport in the Netherlands. It is known for being an important connecting point for intercontinental flights and is home to the airline KLM.
  5. Madrid-Barajas Airport, Spain: With a total of 51.86 million passengers in 2021, Madrid-Barajas Airport is the fifth busiest airport in Europe. It is located about 12 kilometres east of Madrid and is Spain's main airport. It is known for being an important connecting point for intercontinental flights and is home to the airline Air Europa.

Although the figures are for the year 2021, according to a study created by the Barcelona Air Traffic Observatory, Barcelona airport is the leading European airport in origin-destination passengers during the period April 2021 - April 2022 after reaching 11 million passengers. However, if we compare the total number of passengers accumulated in the period January-June 2022, Barcelona airport closed the month of June with 17.7 million passengers.

In summary, the busiest airports in Europe are Heathrow, Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt, Amsterdam-Schiphol and Madrid-Barajas. They are all important connecting points for intercontinental flights and are home to some of Europe's leading airlines. In addition to their importance in terms of passenger traffic, these airports are also important for the local and national economy, generating employment and contributing to economic growth.

However, not everything is positive at these airports. High passenger traffic has also led to congestion and overloading problems at airports, causing flight delays and cancellations. In addition, the increase in air traffic has had a negative environmental impact, as aircraft emissions are a major source of greenhouse gases.

To address these problems, airports and local authorities are implementing measures to improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact. This includes modernising infrastructure, implementing more efficient technologies and promoting alternative forms of transport, such as high-speed trains.

In conclusion, Europe's busiest airports are a testament to the region's economic and tourism importance, but they also face challenges in improving their efficiency and reducing their environmental impact. As air traffic continues to grow in Europe, it is important that action is taken to address these challenges and ensure a sustainable future for Europe's airports and air transport industry.

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