ACI traffic data for commercial and non-commercial movements provides ranking for world airports which is followed closely by the UECNA. What has been noted is that there is a considerable increase in the number of passengers while night flights have decreased except for Heathrow and Roissy Charles de Gaulle.
In 2000, Heathrow and Roissy Charles de Gaulle airports recorded 64 606 826 and 48 246 137 passengers respectively. More than a decade later, statistics showed an increase of 20% for Heathrow and nearly 30% for Roissy Charles de Gaulle. Indeed, the number of passengers flying to Heathrow in 2014 amounted to 73 374 825 for Heathrow while Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport registered 63 744 220 passengers.
When comparing with 2007 figures, it can be seen that airlines changed their strategy so as to increase their airlift especially after the 2008 economic crisis. This increase is particularly outstanding for Roissy Charles de Gaulle where the number of passengers increased much faster than fret movements.
There has also been a considerable increase in fret and mail movements between 2000 and 2014. Heathrow registered 1 402 089 fret and mail movements at the beginning of the century and this number was increased to 1 595 600 just last year. This increase is nothing compared to Roissy Charles de Gaulle where the figures went from 1 610 484 in 2000 to 2 086 487 in 2014.
There has also been an increase in the number of night flights. While Heathrow counts night flights for planes flying between 23h00 and 07h00, Roissy Charles de Gaulle shifts this period by an hour earlier, that is from 22h00 to 06h00. The latter registered 56 725 night flights in 2000 and there was an increase to 57 220 in 2014. For Heathrow, official figures are not available. However, estimates by Jon Stewart show the number of night flights amounted to 30 500 in 2013 which is a considerable increase when compared to BAA statistics which recorded 27 200 planes flying at night in 2010.
Airports where night flights are in decline
Schiphol airport in the Netherlands registered a slight decline in the number of night flights between 23h00 and 06h00 but the figures show an increase in the work-hour window 06h00 to 07h00: 7 633 in 2010 and 10 026 in 2014. The airport registered 31 260 planes flying between 23h00 and 07h00 in 2014. This number has been limited to 32 000 for all airports in the Netherlands.
The spectacular decrease in the number of night flights can be noted for Frankfurt airport. This may be due to the night curfew imposed since October 2011 and which was approved by the High Court of Justice of Leipzig in March 2012. Night flights went from 45 888 in 2010 to 21 250 in 2014. A decline of more than 50%!
Night flights decline mark a milestone for all those fighting for a total ban on night flights. The UECNA will keep on being the voice for these people although there is a fair way to go.