Air Transportation | Fastweb

Air Transportation

The United States has an extensive air transportation network. In 2013, there were 86 airports in the U.S. that annually handled over 1,000,000 passengers and twelve of the world's thirty busiest airports by passenger volume in 2014 were in the U.S. (down from 17 in 2004), including the world's busiest, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. In 2012, 88% of all traffic was through the 62 busiest airports in the country. In terms of cargo, in 2015, eight of the world's thirty busiest airports were in the U.S., including the world's second busiest, Memphis International Airport. Private aircraft are also used for medical emergencies, government agencies, large businesses, and individuals, see general aviation.

Due to the geography of the United States and the generally large distances between major cities, air transportation is the preferred method of travel for trips over 300 miles (480 km), such as for business travelers and long distance vacation travelers. For cities closer together in the Northeastern part of the country (e.g. Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C.), the Northeast Corridor rail line carries the majority of intercity traffic.

Since the start of the Great Recession, air traffic in the U.S. has declined and the U.S. government reported 1.2 million fewer scheduled domestic flights in 2013 than in 2007 (with decreases averaging between 9 and 24% at large and medium-sized airports, respectively). At the same time, the airline industry has also experienced rapid consolidation with all of nation's largest carriers experiencing mergers. The average domestic airline fare steadily increased from 2009 until the first quarter of 2017 where it retreated to the same average of 2009, the lowest the average fare has been since 1995.

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