Charlotte Douglas International Airport saw record-breaking travel in 2023, surpassing its all-time passenger record set pre-pandemic. CLT welcomed 53.4 million passengers last year, a 12% jump from 47.8 million passengers in 2022 and 6.5% above the previous record of 50.2 million passengers in 2019.
The 12% uptick marks CLT’s highest year-to-year increase (excluding COVID impacts) since 2010 when the Airport welcomed 38.2 million passengers, an 11% surge from the previous year.
“The growth we are experiencing is a perfect storm of multiple factors,” said CLT Chief Executive Officer Haley Gentry. “It’s a unique time in history. The strength of CLT as American Airlines’ second largest hub is driving the Airport’s overall growth. Charlotte is an efficient spoke in the airline’s hub system and we are critical to their future growth.”
Aircraft traffic increased 6.6% from 2022 even with airlines focusing on mainline activity and up-gauging aircraft. CLT logged 539,066 arrivals and departures in 2023, up from 505,589 in 2022.
International travel grew from 1.8 million passengers in 2022 to 2.1 million in 2023, a 20.9% increase.
Airport officials attribute the growth to changes in travel habits, remote work and booming economic development in the region that made Charlotte one of the fastest growing populations in the nation.
The new year will be a year of continued growth, including the Concourse A Phase II Expansion, which will add 10 gates in the fall. Skybridges will open in the newly expanded Terminal Lobby entrance and enhancements will happen in Baggage Claim and Concourse E.
Away from the Terminal, progress continues on the fourth parallel runway, the summer opening of a new Airport Overlook and the beginning stages of the Destination District commercial development project that will transform the Airport’s front door.