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Biggest Airport in the World: Top 25 Largest & Busiest Airports
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Biggest Airport in the World: Top 25 Largest & Busiest Airports  

Airports are the first and last points of contact for people traveling to or from one place to another. With air travel on the rise, airports are getting busier and thus, the airport buildings are becoming larger. Some of the biggest airports in the world are larger than major cities.

The King Fahd International Airport which is the biggest airport in the world, for example, is larger than 130 American football fields combined. To throw some light on more such large airports around the world, we’ve curated this list of the 15 area-wise biggest airports and the top 10 busiest airports in the world by passenger traffic.

Top 15 Biggest Airports in the World as Per Area-Wise

1. King Fahd International Airport (DMM), Dammam, Saudi Arabia: Biggest Airport in the World 

biggest airport in the world

Source: twimg.com

King Fahd International Airport located in Damman, Saudi Arabia is the biggest airport in the world. Covering a whopping area of 299.6 sq miles or 776 sq. km. area, this is the primary airport for the eastern province. It started operating in 1999, this significantly huge airport handles around 12 million passengers yearly.

Around 37 airlines operate from this airport that has flights connecting to 43 cities across the world. The airport has three terminal buildings, an iconic mosque that can accommodate around 2000 devotees, and several other luxurious amenities including the Hilton Hotel.

Interesting Facts:

  • The airport was originally the US airbase during the Gulf War.
  • It is named after the former king of Saudi Arabia, Fahn Ibn Abdulaziz, who was the reigning king when the airport first opened.
  • The airport has a separate terminal for the royal family of Saudi Arabia.

2. Denver International Airport (DEN), Denver, Colorado, USA: Biggest Airport in the US

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Source: coloradoski.com

Denver International Airport is the biggest airport in America that is spread across an area of 52.7 sq. miles or 135.7 sq. km. It is one of the top 20 busiest airports in the world and handles around 60 million passengers every year. The airport has been functional since 1995.

Denver International Airport has great connectivity with flights to 215 cities. It is an important hub for a few of the most popular American airlines including United Airlines and Frontier Airlines.

Interesting Facts:

  • The airport has over 35,000 employees and is among the largest employer in the Colorado region.
  • It has the longest public-use runway a length of 3 miles in North America.
  • There’s an automated train system for traveling inside the airport.

3. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFL), Dallas, Texas, USA:  Second Largest Airports in the US

biggest airport in the world

Source: wikimedia.org

Located roughly in the middle of Dallas and Fort Worth, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is the third largest airport in the world. Occupying an area of 26.9 sq. miles or 69.6 sq. km. this airport is larger than Manhattan island.

The airport opened for operation in 1973 and has been one of the busiest airports in the world since. It has the capacity of handling over 75 million passengers in a year. The airport has five terminals and four runways that are used by 26 airlines to operate flights to 200 destinations.

Interesting Facts:

  • The airport has its own postal zip code and is considered a separate city altogether.
  • It has several luxurious amenities like a spa, yoga area, and pay-by-the-hour sleeping pods.

4. Orlando International Airport (MCO), Orlando, Florida, USA: Busiest Airport in the Orlando State

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Source: tripsavvy.com

Located at a distance of around 6 miles from Orlando’s downtown, the Orlando International Airport is the fourth biggest airport in the world. Measuring approximately 23 sq. miles or 60 sq.km., this is the busiest airport in the state. It started operating in 1981 and caters to 50 million yearly passengers.

The airport is an important hub for around 44 airlines connecting to over 135 cities. Major airlines like JetBlue and Southwest Airlines operate from this airport. It has numerous shopping centers and restaurants to keep passengers entertained.

Interesting Facts:

  • Formerly, the airport went by the name McCoy Airforce base.
  • Most of the passengers that arrive at this airport are headed to Disneyland.

5. Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), Washington D.C., USA: One of the Largest Airports in the World 

biggest airport in the world

Source: vox-cdn.com

Yet another large American airport on this list is the Washington Dulles International Airport. It is the fifth biggest airport in the world with an area of 20.3 sq. miles or 52.6 sq. km. it started operation from the year 1962. The airport handles over 24 million passengers yearly.

This airport situated on the same land as the White House flies around 60k passengers daily. Many different airlines operate from this airport connecting to 125 destinations across the globe.

Interesting Facts:

  • The airport is named after the 52nd US secretary of state that was John Foster Dulles.
  • It is the hub for United Airlines.

6. Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX) Beijing, China: Biggest Airport Terminal in the World

busiest airports in the world

Source: ajmannews.ae

With the largest terminal building in the world, the Beijing Daxing International Airport is the sixth biggest airport in the world. It covers a whopping area of 18 sq. miles or 46.6 sq. km. Having opened in 2019, it is Beijing’s second international airport.

The airport is extensively large and is well connected to over 120 destinations across the globe. It is set to become the busiest airport in the world with an annual passenger handling capacity of up to 100 million. The airport is beautifully crafted with customers’ convenience as the central idea. It only takes 8 minutes or less to reach the allocated gate from the check-in.

Interesting Facts:

  • The airport is nicknamed ‘The Starfish’, because of its shape.
  • The massive project cost 11 billion dollars to build.
  • The design of the airport is such that it has minimal impact on the environment, with several sustainability measures incorporated into the design.

7. George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Houston, USA

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Source: houston.org

One of the several American airports that made it to this list, the George Bush International Airport in Houston is the seventh largest airport in the world. It occupies an area of 17.19 sq. miles or 44.5 sq. km.

Being operational since 1969, it was formerly called the Houston Intercontinental Airport. The airport can handle up to 45 million passengers every year. There are 5 runways and terminals, making it the second busiest airport in the state. Internally, the airport is connected with subways and skyways.

Interesting Facts:

  • The airport was renamed in 1971, after the 41st president of the US, George H W Bush.
  • It is the 47th busiest airport in the world.

8. Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG), Shanghai, China: Second Largest Airport in China

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Source: tripsavvy.com

The Shanghai Pudong International Airport is one of the second largest airports in China and the eighth biggest airport in the world. It is one of the two major airports in the city of Shanghai. The airport is spread across an area of 15.4 sq. miles or 39.9 sq. km. and is operational since 1999.

It is a fast-developing hub for both cargo and passenger flights that includes major airlines like Air China, China Eastern Airlines, and many more. The airport has three terminals and 6 runways that handle a crowd of 35 million passengers every year.

Interesting Facts:

  • In the year 2018, the airport handled a crowd of 76 million passengers.
  • It is the busiest passenger gateway in China.

9. Cairo International Airport (CAI), Cairo, Egypt: Second Largest African Airport

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Source: bristol-fire.com

The Cairo International Airport is the 9th biggest airport in the world and the 2nd largest in the African continent. Spread across an area of 14 sq. miles or 36.3 sq.km., it is also the busiest airport in Egypt.

It has been functional since 1963 and handles a thumbing footfall of 15 million passengers annually. The airport possesses 3 main and one seasonal terminal. It is the primary hub for esteemed Egyptian airlines like Nile Air and Egypt Air.

Interesting Facts:

  • The airport was formerly a US Airforce Base until 1963 when it was taken over by the African Civil Aviation.

10. Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK), Bangkok, Thailand: One of the Largest Airports in Southeast Asia 

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Source: cdn-hotels.com

The largest airport in Southeast Asia, Swarnbhumi International Airport is also the 10th largest airport in the world. Occupying a massive stretch of 12.51 sq. miles or 32.4 sq. km, this airport is home to 95 airlines.

Operational since 2006, this airport tackles a massive crowd of 50 million passengers every year. It is a hub for major Asian airlines such as Bangkok Airways, Thai Airways, Jet Asia Airways, etc.

Interesting Facts:

  • The name of the airport is derived from a Sanskrit word that literally means ‘Land of Gold’.

11. Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), Paris, France: Largest Airports in France 

busiest airport in the world

Source: iha.com.tr

One of Europe’s most important transport hubs, Charles de Gaulle Airport in France is the 11th biggest airport in the world. It is also the largest airport in France having a colossal area of 12.50 sq. miles or 32.38 sq. km. CDG airport is also one of the busiest airports in the world in terms of passenger traffic as it handles around 70 million passengers every year.

Built-in the year 1970, the airport currently has 3 terminals. These terminals are internally connected via a train system and also have a train station called TGV. it is one of the most well-connected airports in the world with the most number of direct flights to worldwide destinations. There are several luxurious amenities at the airport that passengers can engage in.

Interesting Facts:

  • The airport is also called the ‘Roissy Airport’.
  • It is named after the army officer, Charles de Gaulle who lead the Free France Movement in World War II, against Nazi Germany.

12. Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC), Utah, USA

busiest airport in the world

Source: slcairport.com

The Salt Lake City International Airport is another large American airport to make it on this list. It is the 12th biggest airport in the world occupying an area of 12.20 sq. miles or 31.62 sq. km. The airport has been operational since the 1960s and has undergone phase-wise revamping over the course of decades.

Salt Lake City International Airport has 3 terminals, 3 helipads, and 4 runways. These terminals are reserved for use by specific airlines, for example, the T2 is used by KLM, Delta Airlines, and SkyWest Airlines only. It is a not-so-busy large airport handling around 24 million passengers annually.

Interesting Facts:

  • Part of the airport is leased to the US government as a 0.5 sq. km. stretch of Roland R Wright National Guard Base for military operations.

13. O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Chicago, Illinois, USA: One of the Busiest and Larger American Airport

busiest airport in the world

Source: siemens.com

One of the busiest airports in America, the O’Hare International Airport is the 13th biggest airport in the world. Residing over an area of 11.91 sq. miles or 30.86 sq.km., this airport has around 8 runways and 4 terminals.

Established in the year 1943, it has expanded intensely over the years. It is a hub for airlines like American Airlines and United Airlines. The airport handles around 79 million passenger footfall annually. The expansion plans of the airport are currently underway.

Interesting Facts:

  • The airport has an impressive Public Art Program that has several sculptures and murals that keep passengers entertained.

14. Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD), Madrid, Spain: A Major European Airport

busiest airport in the world

Source: pinimg.com

One of the major European airports, the Madrid-Barajas Airport is the 14th biggest airport in the world. It is located at a distance of 5.6 miles from the financial district of Madrid. Initially started in 1927, this airport has seen several face-lift jobs over the course of time. It covers an area of around 11.71 sq. miles or 30.35 sq. km.

The airport has 4 runways and 5 terminals and is a hub for top European airlines like Air Europa, Iberia, etc. It is one of Europe’s busiest airports with an annual passenger handling capacity of over 60 million.

Interesting Facts:

  • The airport is officially named Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport derived from the city of Madrid and its adjacent city of Barajas.
  • Madrid Barajas Airport is set to expand to accommodate passenger traffic of 80 million annually.

15. Amsterdam Airport Schipol (AMS), Amsterdam, Netherlands: One of the Biggest and Busiest Airports in Europe

busiest airport in the world

Source: wikimedia.org

Amsterdam Airport Schipol is the fifth busiest European airport and the 15th biggest airport in the world. The airport occupies a large chunk of an area on land that measures around 10.76 sq. miles or 27.87 sq. km. It is operational since 1961 and formerly served as a military base.

AMS airport is an important hub for major European airlines, including KLM, Arkefly, Amsterdam Airlines, and many more. The airport consists of one large terminal building with three departure halls and several runways. It handles a passenger footfall of over 52 million every year.

Interesting Facts:

  • There are many legends about the name ‘Schipol’, the most popular one of them states that the site was formerly Haarlemmermeer (Harlemmer lake), where several ships sank. Literally, the word Schipol translates as ‘ship grave’.

Top 10 Biggest Airports in the World as Per Passenger Traffic

1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ALT), Atlanta, Georgia, USA

biggest airport in the US

Source: netdna-ssl.com

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has been the world’s busiest airport for over two decades. It handles a thumbing passenger footfall of 110 million passengers every year. Over 275,000 people pass daily through this airport. It is a significant hub for many airlines, including Delta Airlines, AirTran Airways, and several others. 60% of the ALT passengers fly with Delta Airlines.

2. Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK), Beijing, China

biggest airport in the US

Source: kinorium.com

Beijing Capital International Airport is Asia’s busiest airport. It handles a whopping crowd of 100 million passengers every year. The airport is continuously growing having increased its passenger throughput by 1.5% in just last year. Air China, China Southern Airlines, and several others use this airport as a major hub.

3. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Los Angeles, USA

biggest airport in the US

Source: b-cdn.net

Los Angeles International Airport is America’s second busiest and the third busiest airport in the world. Having an annual passenger footfall of 88 million, this airport features USA’s first private terminal. It is also the only airport that is a hub for the top three American airlines like American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines.

4. Dubai International Airport (DXB), Dubai, Saudi Arabia

biggest airport in the US

Source: cnbcfm.com

Dubai International Airport is a fast-growing airport that handles a passenger influx of  86 million passengers every year. It is the world’s fourth busiest airport in the world and is currently doubling its passenger influx every four years. The airport has great connectivity across 240 destinations on 6 continents.

5. Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND), Tokyo, Japan

biggest airport in the US

Source: agoda.com

Tokyo Airport is one of Asia’s third and the world’s fifth busiest airports. It handles a passenger footfall of over 85 million every year. It has a glorious reputation of being the most punctual airport and is a hub for major Japanese airlines like Japan Airlines and Nippon Airways. The airport terminal expansion has increased the airport’s passenger handling capacity to 90 million.

6. O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Chicago, Illinois, USA

largest airports in the US

Source: blogspot.com

O’ Hare airport used to be the busiest airport in the world till the year 1998. Now, it stands sixth on this list of busiest airports in the world. It sees an influx of 84 million passengers every year, making it the third busiest airport in the US. The airport is a strategic player for several American airlines owing to its excellent inbound and outbound connections. It is USA’s Mega Hub.

7. Heathrow Airport (LHR), London, UK

largest airports in the US

Source: toiimg.com

The busiest airport in Europe, Heathrow Airport ranks seventh on this list of the world’s busiest airports. Handling over 80.8 million passengers yearly, this airport used to be the third busiest airport in the world. It is the hub for one of the most influential airlines that is British Airways.

8. Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), Hong Kong

largest airports in the US

Source: wikimedia.org

Hong Kong Airport is perhaps the most impressive airport in the world. It handles a passenger footfall of around 65.8 million passengers, making it the eighth busiest airport in the world. It can manage around 1100 flights daily and is known for its fine experience.

9. Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG), Shanghai, China

largest airports in the US

Source: squarespace-cdn.com

Built to ease the pressure on Shanghai’s Hongqiao Airport, Shanghai Pudong Airport has become the ninth busiest airport in the world. It is also the eighth biggest airport in the world. It has a passenger handling capacity of 80 million and is an important hub for many Asian airlines.

10. Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Paris, France

largest airports in the US

Source: staticflickr.com

Charles de Gaulle Airport in France is Europe’s second busiest airport. It handles an annual passenger footfall of over 76 million. The airport is capable of handling 120 aircraft movements per hour owing to its exemplary parallel runway system. The airport is also unique and innovative in design and operation, as it follows principles of sustainability.

Also Read: Biggest House in the World: Exploring the World’s Biggest Mansion

Airports All Around the World Are Trying to Become the Biggest Airport in the World…

The airport industry is massive. With the increase in the number of people traveling daily, airports all around are trying to keep up with this high intensity of passenger influx. Airports are and will always be important places connecting people to places.

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FAQs:

1. What Is the Biggest Airport in the World?

King Fahd International Airport in Dammam, Saudi Arabia is the largest airport in the world. It occupies an area of 776 sq. km.

2. Which is the Busiest Airport in the World?

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest airport in the world handling a whopping crowd of 110 million passengers every year.

3. Which Is the Biggest Airport in the USA?

Denver International Airport is the biggest airport in North America covering an area of 135.7 sq. km.

4. Which Is the Busiest Airport in the USA?

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in not just the US but the world.

5. Which City Has the Most Airports?

New York and London have the most number of airports. Both of them have 6 airports each.

6. Which Country Has the Most Airports?

The United States of America has the most number of airports in the world.

7. How Many Airports Are There in the World?

There are over 15,000 airports all around the world.

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