ACI reported the growth in air travel occurs in what it says was a year ‘riddled with economic challenges’.
They say challenges ranged from the cyclical slowdown in emerging markets, to the lingering economic uncertainties in Europe and the US and conflict in some countries.
It says Africa passenger traffic continues to show signs of weakness and a slight decline of 0.6% was reported for its major airports.
The Asia-Pacific airports reported overall growth of more than 7%, which was fuelled by international traffic rising by more than 8%.
ACI says despite the economic uncertainties that persisted in Europe throughout 2013, traffic increased modestly by 2.6%.
The region saw ranging reduction and increases, and traffic at Madrid Airport dropped by 12.1% and at the other end of the scale, Turkish and Russian airports posted robust growth figures, such as Istanbul by 13.6% and Moscow-Domodedovo by 11.7%.
The Latin American-Caribbean region observed a growth of 4.8% in passenger numbers in 2013, while growth in North America remained at relatively modest levels, with a year-over-year growth of 1.3%.
And the Middle East continues to achieve the highest growth among all regions for the year with 10%, led by double-digit growth rates at Dubai International by 15.2% and Abu Dhabi International by 12.4%.
ACI World’s economics director, Rafael Echevarne, says: “As we end the year with a strong December, it is important to highlight the resilience of global passenger traffic in 2013.
“While there were fears that growth would become more subdued, preliminary figures still point to year-over-year growth in passenger traffic that is in the vicinity of 3.5% to 4.0%, which is formidable considering the economic environment.
“Nonetheless, as international traffic remained relatively strong, domestic travel was curtailed mainly because of economic challenges in European and North American markets.”