Largest airports in the world

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Busiest airports in the world 2023

Largest airports in the US

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is the largest airport in the US. It offers 220 destinations and serves around 55.4 million passengers every year. Another big airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), serves fewer passengers annually (around 35.7 million). However, it offers the largest number of destinations — 260. Regarding the top airports in the US, we can mention a few ones that globetrotters usually highlight. Cincinnati (CVG) has lots of up-to-date and accurate information on its website. You can even find out how many parking spaces are available in their parking garages and what the wait times are at the security checkpoint. Another great airport, Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport (MSP), offers a unique experience before flights. You can enjoy a petting session with therapy dogs before your flight to reduce stress from the MSP Animal Ambassadors program.

Biggest airports in Europe

In terms of surface area, Istanbul Airport (IST) in Turkey is the biggest in Europe. Its size is 75km2 (29mi2). Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) in France is a runner-up at 31km2 (12mi2) and Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport (AMS) in the Netherlands takes third place at 28.5km2 (11mi2). Regarding passenger traffic, London Heathrow Airport (LHR) in the UK is undoubtedly the leader with 3.6 million seats and 78 million passengers annually.

Major airports in South Africa

We can mention three major airports in South Africa. Cape Town International Airport (CPT) serves 24 airlines and offers 100 destinations worldwide. Oliver Tambo International (JNB), located in Johannesburg, is the busiest airport in Africa, welcoming 28 million people annually. In addition, King Shaka International (DUR) in Durban is considered one of the best airports in Africa.

Largest airports in Asia

King Fahd International (DMM), with its area of 776 km2 (299.61 mi2), is the largest airport in Asia and the whole world. Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) in China takes second place with an area of 46.6 km2 (18mi2.) In addition, the airport has a unique and fantastic shape: it resembles a six-pointed starfish. This construction helps passengers get to the gates faster. Apparently, a convenient construction also helps Beijing Capital International Airport to get first place in terms of passenger traffic. Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Haneda Airport (HND) in Tokyo are Asia's second and third busiest airports.

List of international airports

There are more than 15,000 international airports in the world. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), mentioned above, has been holding its top position as the busiest passenger airport worldwide since 1998.

Frequently asked questions

What are the top 5 busiest airports in the world 2022?

As of 2022, all the busiest airports in the world are in the USA:

  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) — 75,704,760 passengers
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) — 62,465,756 passengers
  • Denver International Airport (DEN) — 58,828,552 passengers
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) — 54,020,399 passengers
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) — 48,007,284 passengers

What is the coolest airport in the world?

Among plenty of significant airports across the globe, Singapore Changi Airport undoubtedly deserves special attention. Throughout its history, the airport has received the highest number of various awards. If you get lucky and visit it someday, don't miss the chance to set off on a free tour and discover five stunning themed gardens, playgrounds for children, computer game zones, cinemas, museums, and swimming pools.

Which airport has the most flights?

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) has the most flights. Along with the status of the busiest airport in the world by passenger number, it is also the busiest in terms of aircraft movements — over 707,660.

How many airports are there in the world?

Counting international and domestic airports together, there are around 45,000 airports worldwide. And that's not calculating private airfields and runways.

What is the No 1 airport in the world?

Doha's Hamad International Airport has taken the status of No 1 airport repeatedly. Besides the impressive number of passengers and flights, the airport is also recognized as one of the most luxurious buildings. In addition, it is an airport hub for Qatar Airways, Qatar Airways Cargo and Qatar Executive.

Which country has the highest number of airports?

In total, the US has the highest number of airports (around 20,000 of all types). However, only 50 of them operate international flights.

Which country has no airport?

What are the top 10 biggest airports in the world?

In terms of size, these are the leading airports in the world:

  • King Fahd International (DMM) 776 km2 (299.61 mi2)
  • Denver International (DEN) 135.7 km2 (53.09 mi2)
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) — 69.6 km2 (26.88 mi2)
  • Orlando International (MCO) — 53.8 km2 (20.78 mi2)
  • Washington Dulles International (IAD) — 48.6 km2 (18.75 mi2)
  • Beijing Daxing International (PKX) — 46.6 km2 (18 mi2)
  • George Bush Intercontinental (IAH) — Houston, 44.5 km2 (17.19 mi2)
  • Shanghai Pudong International (PVG) — 39.9 km2 (15.4 mi2)
  • Cairo International (CAI) — Cairo, 36.3 km2 (14 mi2)
  • Suvarnabhumi International (BKK) — Bangkok, Thailand, 32.4 km2 (12.51 mi2)

To understand the size of King Fahd International airport, imagine all five districts of New York City — this is how it looks. However, size does not always imply functioning capacity: King Fahd International is only the third busiest airport in Saudi Arabia and does not even get in the top 100 busiest airports in the world because of its inconvenient location.

Who owns airports?

Usually, the public authorities own and operate the airport. The ownership and duties are divided between the federal states, cities, or municipalities like in the US, Germany, and France.

Can you stay in an airport overnight?

Generally, the answer is yes if we are talking about big airports. Only a few tiny airports in the world don’t allow travelers to sleep. You can stay in most airports overnight. However, note that certain airports close at night; check it in advance.

A few tips will help you to ease this experience:

  • In case of flight delay or cancellation, feel free to ask the airport staff for different sleeping facilities like blankets or pillows.
  • Buy food in advance since all airport cafes close at night (or ask for a food voucher if you have to stay overnight through no fault of your own).
  • Ensure the safety of your belongings. You can use baggage storage. If you don’t have access to it, keep your things close by (some airport sleepers even wear sunglasses so it wouldn’t be so obvious they’re sleeping.) However, there is only so much you can do when sleeping in any public place.

What time do airports close?

All airports work on their own schedule. Some work around the clock, and some airports close at night till early morning (like Geneva Airport).

If you plan to stay overnight in an airport, remember that some small airports simply don't allow passengers to sleep inside (like Stockholm Skavsta Airport).

Which airports have Capital One lounges?

As of 2022, only one airport has a Capital One lounge — Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW.) It’s open daily from 18:00 to 21:00 and is located in Terminal D by Gate D22.

Two more Capital One lounges are expected to open this year at Denver International Airport (DEN) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD).

If you travel through Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, check out the benefits of the Capital One lounge:

  • Seclude from the rush of airport crowds in a cozy space
  • Try tasty food, often inspired by local traditions
  • High-speed Wi-Fi and charge-up areas
  • Sport facilities
  • Private shower suite

Where can I nap at an airport?

Normally, people have a nap on the bench seating or take to the floor on a piece of cardboard if there are no sleeping facilities. If you fly for the first time, feel free to do this, nobody will judge you.

Which airport has sleeping pods?

The following airports have sleeping pods currently:

  • John F. Kennedy Airport
  • Singapore Changi Airport
  • London Heathrow Airport
  • Seoul Incheon Airport
  • Helsinki Vantaa Airport
  • Munich Airport

Sleeping pods are built-in capsule-shaped beds. Prices vary; they usually may cost $10-30 per hour. If you have a long transfer, it's better to try sleeping pods because of the following conveniences:

  • A full bed that you can lay on
  • Compartments for luggage
  • Power sockets for charging electronic items
  • A lamp light for reading books

How early should I get to the airport?

Any experienced traveler would give you this good advice — arrive three hours in advance. You are very unlikely to encounter any difficulties (and even if you do, you will have enough time to resolve them it.) You can spend the extra time in a waiting hall or shopping in duty-free shops. Besides, some airports are architectural masterpieces, so it’s interesting to just walk around.

What is the only airport in the world with a terminal in two countries?

Tijuana Airport is the only airport with a terminal in two countries. It is located on the US-Mexican border. The terminal is called Cross Border Xpress. There is a bridge where travelers can cross the border (actually, this is the fastest way to do this).

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