A Network Map of the World’s Air Traffic Connections
View the high resolution version of today’s graphic by clicking here.
In 2017, airlines moved over four billion passengers, a number that continues to grow each year.
As more and more people around the world can afford to scratch their travel itch, new connections and airports will be created to meet that demand. Remarkably, the world’s air transport network doubles in size every 15 years, and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) estimates that it will do so again by the year 2030.
Today’s data visualization – created by researcher, Martin Grandjean – is a dramatic look at over 3,200 air traffic hubs that connect our world’s population centers. The unique, force-directed layout allows us to see relationships beyond geographical location.
As the GIF above reveals, Europe remains an important linchpin in international travel, and cities on North America’s West Coast – such as Vancouver and San Francisco – swing in response to Asia’s gravitational pull.
The World’s Most Connected Airports
While all airports are effective at moving passengers from point A to B, particular locations play a crucial role in the global network. To help put this connectivity between airports into perspective, OAG created the Megahubs International Index.
Below are the top 50 internationally connected airports:
|Rank||Airport||Airport Name||Country||Connectivity Index|
|10||CDG||Charles de Gaulle||France||242|
|11||LAX||Los Angeles||United States||235|
|12||HKG||Hong Kong||Hong Kong||233|
|18||JFK||John F. Kennedy||United States||195|
|19||IAH||George Bush||United States||184|
|20||DXB||Dubai||United Arab Emirates||183|
|22||EWR||Newark Liberty||United States||170|
|27||DFW||Dallas/Fort Worth||United States||164|
|29||SFO||San Francisco||United States||153|
|35||NCE||Nice Côte d'Azur||France||133|
|36||JNB||O. R. Tambo||South Africa||133|
|46||SJU||Luis Muñoz Marín||Puerto Rico||114|
The heavyweight airport leading the world in international connectivity is London Heathrow. This busy air traffic hub recently had a mind-blowing 72,000 possible international connections within a 6-hour window of arriving and departing flights. Heathrow moved over 78 million passengers and 1.70 million metric tonnes of cargo in 2017.
According to OAG, Singapore Changi and El Dorado International Airport in Colombia were the most connected airports in Asia–Pacific and South America, respectively. O. R. Tambo International Airport near Johannesburg was the sole African airport to crack the top 50.
America’s Most Connected Airports
Below are the top 25 most connected airports in the United States:
|Rank||Airport||Airport Name||City||Connectivity Index|
|6||DTW||Detroit Metro. Wayne County||Detroit||139|
|7||MSP||Minneapolis–Saint Paul||Minneapolis–St. Paul||126|
|8||LAX||Los Angeles||Los Angeles||114|
|9||HNL||Daniel K. Inouye||Honolulu||104|
|10||PHX||Phoenix Sky Harbor||Phoenix||103|
|15||SFO||San Francisco||San Francisco||84|
|16||SLC||Salt Lake City||Salt Lake City||79|
|18||DCA||Ronald Reagan Washington||Washington||65|
|20||DAL||Dallas Love Field||Dallas||56|
|25||STL||St. Louis Lambert||St. Louis||43|
While Atlanta Airport, the second most connected hub, has more scheduled domestic capacity, O’Hare’s scheduling offered more connection possibilities for passengers. Both these powerhouse transport nodes show up very clearly on the network map above.
No Fly Zones
There is a grand total of five countries in the world that have no airport and, interestingly, they’re all in Europe. Vatican City and Monaco are simply too small to accommodate an airport.
The remaining three – Andorra, San Marino, and Liechtenstein – rely on neighboring countries and/or helicopter pads for their air travel needs.
How Much Do Americans Trust the Media?
Media trust among Americans has reached its lowest point since Trump won the 2016 presidential election.
How Much Do Americans Trust the Media?
Media trust among Americans has reached its lowest point in six years.
Gallup began its survey on media trust in 1972, repeating it in 1974 and 1976. After a long period, the public opinion firm restarted the polls in 1997 and has asked Americans about their confidence level in the mass media—newspapers, TV, and radio—almost every year since then.
The above graphic illustrates Gallup’s latest poll results, conducted in September 2023.
Americans’ Trust in Mass Media, 1972-2023
Americans’ confidence in the mass media has sharply declined over the last few decades.
|Trust in the mass media||% Great deal/Fair amount||% Not very much||% None at all|
In 2016, the number of respondents trusting media outlets fell below the tally of those who didn’t trust the media at all. This is the first time that has happened in the poll’s history.
That year was marked by sharp criticism of the media from then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.
In 2017, the use of the term ‘fake news’ rose by 365% on social media, and the term was named the word of the year by dictionary publisher Collins.
The Lack of Faith in Institutions and Social Media
Although there’s no single reason to explain the decline of trust in the traditional media, some studies point to potential drivers.
According to Michael Schudson, a sociologist and historian of the news media and a professor at the Columbia Journalism School, in the 1970s, faith in institutions like the White House or Congress began to decline, consequently impacting confidence in the media.
“That may have been a necessary corrective to a sense of complacency that had been creeping in—among the public and the news media—that allowed perhaps too much trust: we accepted President Eisenhower’s lies about the U-2 spy plane, President Kennedy’s lies about the ‘missile gap,’ President Johnson’s lies about the war in Vietnam, President Nixon’s lies about Watergate,”
Michael Schudson – Columbia Journalism School
More recently, the internet and social media have significantly changed how people consume media. The rise of platforms such as X/Twitter and Facebook have also disrupted the traditional media status quo.
Partisans’ Trust in Mass Media
Historically, Democrats have expressed more confidence in the media than Republicans.
Democrats’ trust, however, has fallen 12 points over the past year to 58%, compared with 11% among Republicans and 29% among independents.
According to Gallup, Republicans’ low confidence in the media has little room to worsen, but Democrat confidence could still deteriorate and bring the overall national reading down further.
The poll also shows that young Democrats have less confidence in the media than older Democrats, while Republicans are less varied in their views by age group.
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