Jordan's recently-opened Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) has registered a 8.4 per cent growth in its passenger traffic which soared to 478,245 passengers in December compared to last year. Airport International Group (AIG) , the Jordanian company responsible for the rehabilitation, expansion and operation of the new airport, said 2013 was a solid year for the new airport posting robust growth across passenger and aircraft numbers. This boosted annual passenger traffic by 4 per cent to settle at 6,502,323 passengers, marking over a quarter of a million passenger increase compared to last year's results. Aircraft movements (ACM)  in December also rose by 5.6 per cent over December 2012, recording 5,455 flights for the month and setting annual ACM up by 1.1 per cent to reach 67,959 ACM in total. Commenting on the growth, AIG chief executive Kjeld Binger said: "2013 was a milestone year for QAIA in more ways than one. Not only did it mark the launch of our new, state-of-the-art terminal which significantly boosted QAIA's service levels and traffic capacity, but it also introduced a number of new international achievements and accolades." "In addition to being named the Best Emerging Market Infrastructure Project for Europe, Central Asia, the Mena , QAIA was ranked - in terms of quality - among the world’s top airports for service levels and passenger satisfaction. Despite the fact that only phase one of the Terminal Project is completed, the overall passenger satisfaction is exceeding the international standards as set in the agreement between AIG and the Jordanian Government," he added. Binger went on to state, "It's encouraging to see what Jordan's prime gateway can achieve when faced with challenging regional circumstances, and it gives us a positive indicator of what can be expected in 2014." Building on its success in 2013, Binger said the airport has kicked off its second expansion phase on January 20.  Valued at over $100 million and scheduled to be completed in 2016, the expansion will help raise its annual passenger capacity to up to 12 million, subsequently enabling Jordan to better serve as a regional transit hub for leisure and business travel, and supporting the Kingdom’s national tourism strategy goals, said the official.