Passenger traffic in the Asia/Pacific region rose 5.7% to 1.43 billion over 2010, according to the Preliminary World Airport Traffic report from Airports Council International (ACI). There was also an 8.4% increase in passenger traffic in the Middle Eastern region.

As a result, several airports in the region achieved double digit growth in 2011 due to robust economic growth and an increasing tendency to travel in the region, including New Delhi (DEL), up by 21%, Jakarta (CGK) 19%, Bangkok (BKK) 12% and also Guangzhou (CAN), Singapore (SIN), Kuala Lumpur (KUL), all up by about 10%, the report stated.

Beijing (PEK), which handled over 77 million passengers in 2011, is the busiest airport in the region and second place in the world’s ranking (just behind Atlanta), according to ACI.

“The other four airports in the region with the most passenger traffic are Tokyo Haneda (HND), Hong Kong (HKG), Jakarta (CGK) and Dubai (DXB),” it said.

Freight traffic in the region, on the other hand, did not fare as well, recording a decrease of 1.5% compared to 2010 while the Middle-East area had just a slight increase of 1.6%.

Total freight traffic carried by these two areas was 35.8 million tonnes in 2011, 41% of the world’s total freight traffic recorded by ACI.

“Hong Kong (HKG) continued to be the busiest cargo airport in the world, closely followed by Memphis (MEM) and Shanghai Pudong (PVG). The other three busiest airports in the region with the highest freight traffic are Seoul Incheon (ICN), Dubai (DXB) and Tokyo Narita (NRT),” the report stated.