North Carolina’s two biggest airports – Charlotte Douglas International and Raleigh-Durham International – both saw record travel in 2023.

Charlotte Douglas International had 53.4 million passengers last year, a 6.5% increase from its previous record of 50.2 million in 2019, a year before the pandemic. Raleigh-Durham International had 14.5 million travelers, compared to the previous high of 14.2 million in 2019.

Both airports also did considerably better last year than the year before. Charlotte Douglas had a 12% increase from its 2022 traffic of 47.8 million travelers. Raleigh-Durham saw its year-over-year traffic increase by 22%.

The 12% uptick at Charlotte marks its highest year-to-year increase (excluding COVID impacts) since 2010 when the airport had 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 CEO 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.”