Dallas Love Field was the fastest-growing U.S. airport by
percentage between 2007 and 2017, while traffic at Memphis Airport shrunk the
most, according to an analysis by UpgradedPoints.
UpgradedPoints based the analysis on FAA statistics charting
the number of passengers emplaned annually at individual airports. The ranking
only considered airports with at least 3 million departing passengers annually.
Love Field saw its count of departing passengers increase 48%
over that decade, driven by the end of the federal Wright Amendment in 2014,
which had prohibited operations of all but short-haul flights from the airport.
After the repeal, Love Field's dominant carrier, Southwest Airlines, amped up
Rounding out the top three on the growth list are
Austin-Bergstrom, which has benefitted from the booming growth of the Texas
capital, and New Orleans' Louis Armstrong, which UpgradedPoints noted has seen
a return of flights it lost after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. There also has
been an influx of low-cost service in New Orleans as well as new international
service. Between 2007 and 2017, enplanements in Austin grew by 39% while New
Orleans enjoyed 37% growth in terms of departing passengers.
Rounding out the top ten fastest-growing airports were San
Francisco, Houston Hobby, Seattle, Fort Lauderdale, Nashville, Los Angeles and
Memphis had the steepest passenger decline (62%) from 2007
to 2017. The airport suffered from Delta's decision to shut down its hub there.
Cincinnati, another victim of Delta hub consolidation, experienced a passenger
decline of 51%, the second-steepest drop. Southern California's Ontario Airport
saw a decline of 35% as airlines concentrated more operations in the larger
airports of that region, including Los Angeles International.
UpgradedPoints noted that Cincinnati in particular has
turned the tide in recent years. Between 2016 and 2017, the airport had a 16%
increase in enplanements because Southwest entered the market and as low-cost
Frontier and Allegiant grew operations there.
Rounding out the top 10 declining U.S. airports between 2007
and 2017 were Albuquerque, Cleveland, San Juan, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Palm
Beach and Oakland.
Albuquerque was hurt by the repeal of the Wright Amendment.
The airport was an essential stop for West Coast destinations from Dallas Love
Field when the Wright Amendment was in effect, but the transfer in Albuquerque
is no longer necessary.