In times of growing tourism and ever-advancing technological development, airports have become central transport hubs in the world. Every year, more and more people travel and each airport offers different characteristics in terms of passengers, volume, size and services. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the largest airports in the world, focusing on both their passenger volume (passenger numbers) and their surface area. We will discover some interesting facts about the world’s most impressive airports and filter out the top ten largest airports!
Which are the largest airports in the world?
The largest airports in the world, measured by passenger volume are: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (USA) with 107.39 million passengers per year, Beijing Capital International Airport (China) with 96.51 million passengers Dubai International Airport (United Arab Emirates) with 88.21 million passengers, Los Angeles International Airport (USA) with 87.53 million passengers, Tokyo Haneda Airport (Japan) with 85.41 million passengers, and O’Hare International Airport (USA) with 79.84 million passengers. London Heathrow (Great Britain), Shanghai Pudong International Airport (China), Hong Kong International Airport (Hong Kong), and Paris Charles-de-Gaulle Airport (France) follow in the other places of the ranking.
Which is the largest airport in the world?
The largest airport in the world is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the United States. It has an annual passenger traffic of over 107 million, making it the busiest airport in the world. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport also has the largest area of 4,700 hectares, which is about 7 square miles.
Which is the largest airport in the world by area?
The largest airport in the world based on its area is King Fahd International Airport (KFIA) in Saudi Arabia. It has an enormous area of more than 789 square kilometres, which is almost ten times the size of the next largest airport. King Fahd International Airport is located in the east of the Saudi port city of Dammam and is also known as DWC (Dammam-Worldwide Airport).
Which airport is the largest in Europe?
Many passengers wonder; what is the largest airport in Europe. Istanbul Airport (IST) is the largest airport in Europe. With more than 71 million passengers per year, it is the busiest airport in Europe, ahead of London Heathrow (LHR).
What is the largest airport in Germany?
The largest airport in Germany is Frankfurt am Main International Airport (FRA). With a traffic of about 65 million visitors in 2019, it secures its position at the top of the podium. With a total area of just over 5 square kilometres, it is also one of the largest airports in Europe. FRA has two runways, which are suitable for traffic in all directions.
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The 10 largest airports in the world by passenger volume
In addition to the surface area, the volume of air travellers (passenger numbers) is the most relevant factor in determining the size of an airport. The umbrella organization of international commercial airports, Airports Council International (ACI), closely monitors how many people are handled each day at airports worldwide to identify trends and publish relevant statistics. The number one spot of the world’s 10 largest airports is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
The ranking of the world’s largest airports at a glance:
1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport – USA
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is ranked number 1 and is the busiest airport in the world. With over 75.5 million passengers per year, it is one of the largest and best-known airports in the world. It consists of seven terminals with a total area of over 13 square kilometres and offers non-stop flights to countries on five continents. Passengers can find hundreds of restaurants, cafés and bars, as well as shopping and entertainment venues.
2. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport – USA
Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) is one of the largest and busiest airports in the world, serving over 62.5 million passengers per year. It covers an area of more than 17 square kilometres and consists of four terminals.
3. Denver International Airport – USA
Denver International Airport (DEN) is one of the largest and busiest airports in the world, serving over 58.8 million passengers per year. It covers an area of over 54 square kilometres and consists of seven terminals.
4. O’Hare International Airport – USA
O’Hare International Airport (ORD) is one of the largest and busiest airports in the world, serving over 54 million passengers per year. It covers an area of more than 18 square kilometres and consists of four terminals.
5. Los Angeles International Airport – USA
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is one of the largest and busiest airports in the world, serving over 48 million passengers per year. It covers an area of approximately 21 square kilometres and consists of nine terminals.
6. Charlotte Douglas International Airport – USA
Charlotte Douglas International Airport is a major airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, offering non-stop connections within the US and around the world. The airport has five terminals covering 5 square kilometres and handles more than 43.3 million passengers annually.
7. Orlando International Airport – USA
Orlando International Airport is an international airport in central Florida that serves more than 40.3 million passengers annually. The airport has facilities such as shops, restaurants, duty-free shops and a VIP programme.
8. Guangzhou-Baiyun International Airport – China
Guangzhou-Baiyun International Airport is an international airport in China’s Guangdong province, offering non-stop connections to cities in China and around the world. The airport receives over 40.2 million passengers annually.
9. Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport – China
Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is one of the largest airports in China. The airport receives over 40.1 million passengers annually and has modern facilities.
10. Harry Reid International Airport – USA
Harry Reid International Airport is an international airport in the US city of Las Vegas. The airport receives over 39.7 million passengers annually.
The world’s largest airports by area
The size of airports can vary depending on their operating volume and other factors. Many airports in the world can be studied by size. The ten largest airports in the world by area are:
- King Fahd International Airport (Saudi Arabia)
- Chengdu Tianfu International Airport (China)
- Denver International Airport (Colorado, USA)
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (Texas, USA)
- Orlando International Airport (Florida, USA)
- Washington Dulles International Airport (USA)
- George Bush Intercontinental Airport (USA)
- Shanghai Pudong International Airport (China)
- Cairo International Airport (Egypt)
- Suvarnabhumi International Airport (Thailand)
These are the biggest airports in Europe
Tourism and air traffic in Europe are on the upswing again after a difficult year with restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, the number of passengers has changed compared to last year. Many airports are opening their doors again, offering passengers a wide range of travel options. Although the number of passengers is still below the level of the previous year, the booking figures show clear signs of a recovery in air traffic to Europe. Travellers can therefore look forward to an attractive offer!
Istanbul Airport is currently the largest airport in Europe, having replaced London Heathrow as Europe’s largest airport in 2019. In the first ten months of 2022, around 53 million passengers travelled there – a decrease of 7.7 per cent compared to 2019. However, despite the declines, Istanbul Airport is still the king among European airports. It is ahead of London Heathrow Airport, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Amsterdam Schiphol and Frankfurt Airport – which occupy places 2 to 5 respectively.
These top 5 account for almost half of all passenger traffic in Europe, making them the largest and most important in their class. Each of these stunning airports allows people from all over the world to reach their destination by the most modern means of transport, the aircraft. Some of the largest and most modern airports on the continent are as follows:
The ranking of the largest airports in Europe at a glance:
- Istanbul Airport (IST)
- London Heathrow (LHR)
- Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
- Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS)
- Frankfurt am Main (FRA)
- Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO)
- Moscow Domodedovo (DME)
- Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW)
- Madrid Barajas (MAD)
- Antalya (AYT)
Germany’s largest airports
Germany is a country with many large airports that carry millions of travellers each year. The largest German airport is Frankfurt Airport, which tops the list of Europe’s largest airports at number 5. With close to 65 million passengers in 2019, it was Germany’s busiest airport and still the largest German airport even after the slump in passenger traffic due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Munich Airport came in second with almost 43 million visitors, followed by Düsseldorf in third place.
Some of the largest airports in the country are as follows:
- Frankfurt Airport: Frankfurt/FRA
- Munich Airport: Munich/MUC
- Düsseldorf International Airport: Düsseldorf/DUS
- Hamburg Airport: Hamburg/HAM
- Stuttgart Airport: Stuttgart/STR
- Cologne/Bonn Airport/CGN
- Leipzig/Halle Airport
- Bremen Airport
- Hanover-Langenhagen Airport/HAJ
- Nuremberg Airport/Nue
Conclusion: The world’s largest airports
Since 2020, the world has changed a lot. The impact of the pandemic (COVID-19) was instrumental in the rise of China and the USA in global passenger traffic. European countries have some catching up to do, but can regain importance in the next few years and return to their 2019 rank.
How can Flightright help you?
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According to the EU Passenger Rights Regulation, passengers are entitled to compensation in the event of a delay, cancellation, overbooking, or missed connection. You can claim up to 600 euros of compensation per person (minus commission fee). This compensation is independent of the ticket price. Flightright enforces your right for you. If necessary also in court.
As experts on the subject of air passenger rights, we enforce your right to compensation against the airline! Flightright’s air passenger rights experts are also happy to help you with ticket reimbursements