More than 100,000 flights make their way around the globe each day, jetting in and out of the biggest airports in the world, so we took a closer look at some of these airports that are bigger than some cities.
Airports are extremely important, as air travel is the primary means of long distance travel nowadays. Long gone are the days of endless sailing for months as we can now go around the world much faster with great comfort. Personally, I love flying, and I love airplanes. It still amazes me that something so large can be lifted into the air to fly for hours across the ocean. While I love traveling and airplanes, airports are not always my favorite place to be. I hate the long lines, expensive food, and having to get there early to sit and wait. As you can understand, I’m not the most patient person, but I do understand that this is all part of the experience of flying. International airports are some of the busiest places on Earth, and thousands of people board and disembark flights 24/7. It is really maddening if you just think about the work that goes into running such a massive operation. As the title of this article suggests, we will try to learn more about the biggest airports in the world, and there are several ways we can accomplish that. We could look at size, speaking of, did you know which is the biggest airport in the world 2017 by size? The answer would be King Fahd International airport located in Saudi Arabia, whose entire property covers an immense 192,000 acres of land. However, in the case of airports there are more important things than just the land it covers, and for this article, we decided to go with the number of passengers each has to deal with every year. On the other hand, areas with a smaller population or less traffic are home to tiny airports. Many consider the smallest airport in the world to be Juancho E Yrausquin Airport in The Caribbean.
Did you know that the busiest airport in the U.S., is also the busiest/largest airport in the world by number of passengers? That same airport also comes in as the busiest airport in the world by flights, and the owner of these titles is the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport. Atlanta’s airport also comes in as the biggest airport in the U.S., (and my least favorite if you were wondering). If you’ve ever flown into it, you know what we’re talking about. Why is Atlanta airport so busy you ask? Well, there are several reasons for that, first it is home to one of the world’s largest airlines, Delta Air Lines, and also the location of the airport is pretty convenient for trans-Atlantic flights. These are just some of the reasons why Atlanta’s airport sees so much traffic each year. If we hop across the pond, the biggest airport in Europe is Heathrow airport in London and obviously it made it on our list. Each year, more and more people travel, which may or may not change the rankings for the busiest airports. Since 2017 is still in full swing, we can’t yet determine the busiest airports in the world 2017, but imagine those rankings will not change much from the last year’s data. Various factors like, location, size, and population determine what makes an airport busy. India is home to over 1 billion people, and the biggest/largest airport in India, is Indira Gandhi International Airport.
In essence, our list is basically populated by the busiest international airports in the world. When it comes to airports, the more traffic it gets determines how important it is and how big of an impact it has rather than the land it covers. It has hardly been a little more than a century since the Wright brothers first took to the air, and air travel has become cheaper, safer and even faster than ever before. Many people travel around the world, some for business and some for pleasure, meaning airports have become an integral part of our modern lifestyle. The air travel industry is also producing huge revenues each year, and if you are an investor then you should check out the 5 Best Airport and Infrastructure Stocks To Buy Under President Trump.
To come up with this list we resorted to various websites for data collection. Airports Council International is a very good source of information, and we used its resources extensively. We also went through the “2016 Annual Airport Traffic Report” for further information regarding the topic. And of course, we employed the help of Google’s search engine to look up any additional information as well. Basically, we looked at the number of passengers each airport handled last year, and we ranked them accordingly. The more passengers coming in and out of an airport, the higher it has been placed on the list.
Wheels up to our list of 21 biggest airports in the world started.
21. Indira Gandhi International Airport
Number of passengers: 55,631,385
The Indira Gandhi International Airport is the pride of the nation. It is the biggest airport in India, and is a civilian aviation hub for the National Capital Region of India. It takes the twenty first spot on our list as it served over 55 million people in the year 2016. We can speculate that the number of passengers severed will only increase in 2017 as well.
20. Suvarnabhumi Airport
Number of passengers: 55,892,428
At number 20 we have Suvarnabhumi Airport, located in the Bang Phli, Thailand. Thailand is well known for its tourism industry and it is one of the biggest sources of revenue in the nation. There is no wonder that in 2016 about 56 million people visited and were logged at the main international airport alone.
19. Incheon International Airport
Number of passengers: 57,849,814
The Seoul Incheon International Airport is the largest civil aviation airport in South Korea. It serves the Capital Area and it has been one on all lists of biggest and busiest airports since 2005. It served over 57 million people in the year 2016 alone, which was an increase of over 17% compared to 2015.
18. Denver International Airport
Number of passengers: 58,266,515
Finally a familiar name for our American readers, Denver International Airport served over 58 million people last year. However, Denver International Airport is not the busiest airport in the United States nor the last U.S. airport to be featured on the list either. However, it is the largest airport by land area in the U.S. Denver International Airport covers over 33,531 acres (52.4 sq mi) of land and cost almost $5 billion dollars to build. It was originally commissioned for much less money and there are many conspiracy theories surrounding the unique airport.
17. Singapore Changi Airport
Number of passengers: 58,698,000
Singapore Changi Airport beats Denver International Airport by a mere four hundred thousand passengers served, and occupies the 17th position on our list. It is the largest civilian airport in Singapore and one of the largest civil aviation hubs in the entire Southeast Asian region.
16. John F. Kennedy International Airport
Number of passengers: 58,813,103
John F. Kennedy International Airport the primary civil aviation airport serving New York City and takes up the 16th slot on our list. To be honest, one would imagine that JFK airport would rank much higher on the list given that it serves one of the biggest cities in the world. Regardless, the airport welcomes flights from all corners of the world, every day. The data indicates that JFK airport served just a little bit under 59 million people last year.
15. Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport
Number of passengers: 59,732,147
Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport is the first Chinese airport to make it on our list. It is the primary airport of Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, China. The notable airlines that operate from the airport are China Southern Airlines, FedEx Express, 9 Air, Hainan Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines.
14. Istanbul Atatürk Airport
Number of passengers: 60,248,741
When an airport serves over 60 million people in a single year, then that is saying something. The Istanbul Atatürk Airport is the main international airport serving Istanbul and it is also the biggest airport in Turkey by the number of passengers – no wonder it made it into our list of biggest airports in the world.
13. Frankfurt Airport
Number of passengers: 60,786,937
Frankfurt is the fifth largest city in Germany, and naturally the Frankfurt Airport is one of, if not most important, airports in the country. However, by number of passengers, the Frankfurt Airport is the biggest in Germany to say the least.
12. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Number of passengers: 63,625,534
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the main international airport in both Holland and the entire country of The Netherlands. It’s located merely 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) from Amsterdam. It saw an increase of 9.2% in passenger traffic from 2015, thus it now sits at the twelfth spot on our list with over 63 million passengers served in 2016.
11. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Number of passengers: 65,670,697
Dallas airport sits right in the middle of our list of the biggest airports in the world with over 65 million passengers served in 2016. 2016 recorded the highest number of people served by Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in a single year.
10. Charles de Gaulle Airport
Number of passengers: 65,933,145
Charles de Gaulle Airport also known as Roissy Airport is the largest civil aviation airport in all of France. It is named after Charles de Gaulle the leader of the Free French forces in the Second World War. However, we are interested in Charles de Gaulle Airport because of the number of passengers it served in 2016, which is just a few thousands shy from 66 million people.
9. Shanghai Pudong International Airport
Number of passengers: 66,002,414
Coming in at number 9 on our list of biggest airports in the world, and the second Chinese airport to made it in our list, Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Located in Pudong, Shanghai it covers an area of over 40 square kilometers. Last year the airport served over 66 million people.
8. Hong Kong International Airport
Number of passengers: 70,314,462
Hong Kong International Airport also known as the Chek Lap Kok Airport is located on the island of Chek Lap Kok. The interesting fact is that most of the entire island is covered by the airport itself. This behemoth of an airport served over 70 million people last year.
7. Heathrow Airport
Number of passengers: 75,715,474
If you were wondering when would Heathrow Airport show up on our list of biggest airports in the world, well your wait is over. Heathrow Airport occupies the prestigious 7th spot on our list because it served over 75 million people last year. To be honest, that number (if not more) is to be expected from the major international airport in London, United Kingdom.
6. O’Hare International Airport
Number of passengers: 78,327,479
O’Hare International Airport is located on the Northwest Side of Chicago, Illinois, and it is one of the major international airports in the country. The airport primarily serves the Chicago metropolitan area, but is in a prime location for layovers as it sits in the center of the United States. Last year, it served an astonishing 78 million people, which makes it one of the biggest airports in the entire world.
5. Tokyo International Airport
Number of passengers: 79,699,762
Number five on our list of biggest airports in the world is Tokyo International Airport also commonly known as the Haneda Airport is located in Ōta, Tokyo. It is home to the two primary Japanese domestic airlines, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways. It is also the primary base of operations for Air Do, Skymark Airlines, Solaseed Air, and StarFlyer as well.
4. Los Angeles International Airport
Number of passengers: 80,921,527
Los Angeles International Airport is the largest and also the busiest airport in the Greater Los Angeles Area, and also in the entire state of California. However, the distinctions do not end there, as it is also the second busiest airport in the entire country and one of the biggest in the entire world.
3. Dubai International Airport
Number of passengers: 83,654,250
It seems Dubai is finding its landmarks on a lot of lists of the “biggest” these days. Dubai International Airport is the major international airport serving Dubai in the U.A.E. It is one of the biggest and busiest airports in the region, and in recent years it has seen a massive spike in activity. Plus it’s high on our list of biggest airports in the world. In fact it experienced a whopping 7.2 % increase in passenger traffic in the last year compared to 2015. Also, it is the third biggest airport in terms of passengers in the entire world.
2. Beijing Capital International Airport
Number of passengers: 94,393,454
Beijing Capital International Airport is the main international airport serving Beijing, China. It is home to Air China, the primary airline operated by the People’s Republic of China, which flies to 120 destinations around the world. As the second biggest airport in the world, it served over 94 million people last year.
1. Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Number of passengers: 104,171,935
It is now time for the big reveal. The number one on our list of biggest airports in the world is Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. This particular airport served well over a hundred million people in 2016. But that is not even the most interesting fact about this airport. It has consecutively been the world’s busiest and biggest airport for over two decades. It also the home base of Delta Airlines.
This wraps it up for our list of the biggest airports in the world. Enjoy the skies!