Denver International Airport smashes all-time record for passenger traffic with 58.3 million travelers in 2016

March 3, 2017

Today, Denver International Airport (DEN) announced that nearly 58.3 million passengers passed through the airport in 2016 – a major milestone in Denver’s aviation history that shatters the previous all-time passenger traffic record by more than four million people. 

A total of 58,266,515 passengers traveled though DEN in 2016, an increase of 7.9 percent over the 54,014,502 passengers in 2015 – which was previously the airport’s busiest year on record. December 2016 also was the busiest December in DEN history, with 4,825,224 passengers and was the 16th consecutive month of record-setting passenger traffic. The summer of 2016 was particularly busy, setting nine of the top 10 busiest days in the airport’s history in July. The airport also set a new record for the single busiest day in its history, with 188,486 passengers on Nov. 27. 

“Denver International Airport has now seen three consecutive years of impressive record-setting passenger growth, driven by strong demand for travel to and from Denver, large increases in airline capacity and our efforts to secure new airlines and destinations around the world,” airport CEO Kim Day said. “In 2016, we welcomed five new airlines – Allegiant, Elite Airways, PenAir, Sun Country Airlines and Virgin America – and added a dozen new destinations to our growing portfolio.” 

DEN served 181 destinations around the world during 2016. The following destinations were new to DEN in 2016: Buffalo, New York (BUF), Charleston, South Carolina (CHS), Moab, Utah (CNY), Monterrey, Mexico (MTY), Montreal, Canada (YUL), Munich, Germany (MUC), Norfolk, VA (ORF), Page, Arizona (PGA), Richmond, VA (RIC), Salina, Kansas (SLN), Telluride, Colo. (TEX) and Vernal, Utah (VEL). 

“We once saw Denver International Airport as a leading connecting hub, but over the last several years we have seen a transformation take place as more and more people are flocking to the Mile High City as their final destination,” Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “These historic passenger numbers point to the continued strength of the Denver market as we continue our efforts to expand our economic influence and reach around the world.” 

In December, international passenger traffic increased 6 percent. Denver’s total international passenger traffic had strong gains in 2016, with a total of 2,304,253 international passengers – an increase of 5.1 percent over the 2,192,613 international passengers in 2015. 

Mail, freight and express cargo operations saw record-high levels in December as cargo volume increased to the largest monthly total since June 2006, with 53,714,156 pounds of cargo – an increase of 6.2-percent compared to the same month in 2015. In all of 2016, 551,641,079 pounds of cargo was handled at DEN, up 1.1 percent from 545,784,431 pounds of cargo handled during 2015. 

The complete December 2016 traffic report is available at: