US Airport Traffic To Grow Over 25% In Next Ten Years


A new forecast projects that US airports will see over 25% growth in the next ten years, handling over 1.1 billion enplanements, up by almost 225 million from 2017.

The 2018-2027 Airports:USA® forecast, developed by Boyd Group International, covers traffic and air service trends at 146 of the nation’s airports, encompassing over 95% of all passengers.

eTN Chatroom: Discuss with readers from around the world:

The key findings of the forecast are in a brief report, The Seven Top Airport Trends, 2018-2027, and include:

  • Airline strategies will affect growth patterns within airport categories. The 22 airline connecting hub airports will see 25.7% growth. Large non-hubsite airports, those with over 2 million enplanements today, will experience 32.0% expansion. Airports today with between 250,000 and 2 million enplanements, will see 34.9% expanded traffic.
  • New International Access. “New-generation airliners now present strong potential for trans-Atlantic service from East Coast airports such as Providence, Manchester, Albany, Charleston and Jacksonville.”
  • “Regionalized air access” to expand – with many small airports losing traffic to mid-size airports within regions.  “At many small communities, efforts to attract flights at the local airport are futile,” the forecast notes. “Often, it’s non-competitive with other airport options – even with as much as a 90-minute drive.”
  • Globalization: by 2027, over 36% of all US airport enplanements will be the direct or indirect result of international travel.
  • There will be sharp enplanement swings as ultra low-cost carriers (“ULCCs) enter and exit some mid-size airports. These corporate decisions cannot be anticipated by any forecasting methodologies. The spike and decline in 2018 traffic at Islip, New York is referenced as an example. “Such entry, however, whether successful or not, is positive for the airport,” the forecast notes. “At least pro-tem, it generates new revenues.”

Airport Capacity Issues. The forecasted additional enplanements in 2027 is the equivalent of the traffic today at all five of the nation’s largest airports, combined.  “Airport capacity, funding and efficiencies will need to pursue whole new approaches.”

A summary of findings  – The Seven Top Airport Trends, 2018-2027 – can be found at and clicking on the report title page.

The forecast will be presented to aviation leaders from across the globe at the Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit in Denver, August 19-21.

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.