It’s all about the cargo.
On Saturday, April 25, the Anchorage Ted Stevens International Airport was momentarily the world’s busiest airport, according to airport managers and their data tools.
“This points to how significantly the global aviation system has changed and highlights the significance of our role in the global economy and fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” the division of DOT said.
On that day, Anchorage had 948 airport arrivals and departures, compared to London Heathrow, with 682 arrivals and departures, according to FlightRadar 24 data.
It’s not that Anchorage had more passenger flights — it did not. But with it being the fifth-busiest cargo hub in the world, and with passenger flights being canceled everywhere, Anchorage’s airport briefly dominated the flight map, while the Atlanta Airport, which is generally the world’s busiest airport, was a ghost town.
Due to special cargo transfer rights, and the fact that Anchorage is an equal distance between Asia and North America, the Ted Stevens International Airport has also been the second-busiest cargo terminal in the United States for several years.
In April, Flightradar24 tracked an average of 69,586 total flights per day, a 62% decrease from April 2019. The busiest sky day in April was April 28, with 80,714 flights.
Commercial flights in April averaged 29,439 per day, compared to 111,799 flights per day in 2019.