Largest Airports in the World by Size and Passenger Traffic

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Last updated: November 26, 2019

Want to know which are the busiest airports in the world? Here’s a list of the largest airports in the world by size and passengers.

Every year, millions of people travel through these airports for both domestic and international travel. Some of the largest airports in the world located in countries like the USA and China are very important transportation hubs.

The best way to rank the busiest airports in the world is by looking at the number of passengers passing through each year. Below, you can learn more about the largest airports in the world by passenger traffic, which actually is very different from the largest airports by size.

Largest Airports in the World (Passenger traffic)

1. Hartsfield – Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

Atlanta’s International Airport is the largest airport in the world with 103.9 million passengers per year. Another fascinating aspect of this airport is that it’s been the largest airport in the world for over 20 years.

This is an extremely important travel hub in the United States where you can fly both international and domestic.

  • Passenger traffic: 103.9 million
  • Country: USA
Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Photo: ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

2. Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK)

With 95.8 million passengers, Beijing’s International Airport is an extremely important hub for connecting flights both for international and domestic travel in China.

China has recently extended its transfer visa to some cities. Beijing now allows a transit visa of 144 hours, only if you plan to travel to a third airport instead of a regular return trip.

  • Passenger traffic: 95.9 million
  • Country: China
Beijing Capital International Airport

Photo: maoyunping / Shutterstock.com

3. Dubai International (DXB)

Dubai has the tallest building in the world, the most luxurious hotel, but also one of the largest airports in the world. Dubai International airport comes in third place with 88.2 million passengers.

This is the home base for the reputable airline Emirates. Emirates flies all over the world and has been voted the best airline worldwide several times. Dubai is an important travel hub with flights connecting Asia, Africa, and Europe as well as other interesting destinations.

  • Passenger traffic: 88.2 million
  • Country: United Arab Emirates
Dubai flygplats

Photo: Karol Ciesluk / Shutterstock.com

4. Tokyo International Airport (HND)

Tokyo has two airports, Haneda Airport and Narita Airport. Both airports offer international flights to several destinations and are very well organized.

Haneda is the largest airport in Tokyo. Even though it’s not one of the largest airports in the world, it’s according to us definitely the most organized one.

Each year, approximately 85.4 million people fly in and out of Haneda Airport, also known as Tokyo’s international airport with the code HND.

  • Passenger traffic: 85.4 million
  • Country: Japan
Haneda airport Tokyo

Photo: JHENG YAO / Shutterstock.com

5. Los Angeles Airport (LAX)

Los Angeles airport, or LAX how most people call it, is one of the busiest airports in the world with 84.5 million passengers each year. It’s even larger than JFK, the main airport in New York.

We experience that LAX doesn’t meet the same standards as other airports on the list.

  • Passenger traffic: 84.6 million
  • Country: USA
LAX airport

Photo: Markus Mainka / Shutterstock.com

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

Chicago is an important travel center in the US and it’s not surprising that O’Hare International Airport has just under 80 million passengers every year.

This is an important transit airport where you can simply connect to another flight and travel anywhere in the US. O’Hare International Airport also handles many international flights.

Chicago is a city worth visiting, even though the city has a notorious reputation for its high crime rate.

  • Passenger traffic: 79,8 million
  • Country: USA
OHare-International-Airport

Photo: Sorbis / Shutterstock.com

7. London-Heathrow (LHR)

London Heathrow Airport is the busiest airport in Europe and the seventh busiest in the world. Many people may be surprised that Heathrow only ranks number seven.

The explanation would be that London has multiple international airports, which many budget airlines choose instead. Heathrow is the hub for the world’s most reputable airline British Airways.

  • Passenger traffic: 78 million
  • Country: United Kingdom
London-Heathrow

Photo: pio3 / Shutterstock.com

8. Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)

Hong Kong is an important financial center and brings many business professionals and tourists from all over the world. It’s a highly functional airport that handles a large number of passengers.

72.7 million people fly in and out of this highly convenient airport each year.

  • Passenger traffic: 72.7 million
  • Country: China (Hong Kong)
Hong-Kong-international-airport

Photo: Phuong D. Nguyen / Shutterstock.com

9. Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG)

Shanghai is one of the biggest cities in the world and it’s no surprise that the city’s international airport has 80 million people passing through per year. People come here for business, vacation or simply to connect to another flight.

  • Passenger traffic: About 70 million
  • Country: China
Shanghai-Pudong

Photo: Shutterstock

10. Charles de Gaulle, Paris (CDG)

Charles de Gaulle is another famous airport in Europe. As for passengers, Paris International Airport comes in 10th place with about 70 million passengers per year.

When the airport opened in 1974, it already had flights going to many destinations around the world. Paris International Airport is the hub for the airline Airfrance.

  • Passenger traffic: About 70 million
  • Country: France
Charles-de-Gaulle

Photo: Mila Che / Shutterstock.com

The Largest Airports in the World (By size)

After learning more about the largest airports in the world by passenger traffic, it’s interesting to move on and look at the total size. From looking at the total size, King Fahd International Airport is the world’s largest airport with a total of 780 square km.

AirportSize
King Fahd International Airport in Saudi Arabia780 km²
Denver International Airport in USA137.26 km²
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in USA78 km²
Shanghai Pudong International Airport in China33.5km²
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in France32 km²

The Largest Airport in the Future

In the future, the largest airport in the world will be the one growing the fastest. Istanbul’s new international airport was recently finished in 2019. The airport can host 200 million people per year, even though the limit is 150 million.

The airport plan to host 90 million passengers during the first year. That number will make Instanbul Airport the third largest airport in the world, and rank higher in passenger traffic than Dubai.

Turkish Airlines have Instanbul Airport as a home base. They already advertise several new destinations and grow very fast. It’s only a matter of time until Instanbul Airport reaches 150 million passengers per year and becomes the largest airport in the world.

  • Size: One million km²
  • Passenger traffic: Max 150 million
  • Country: Turkey
Världens största flygplats i framtiden

Photo: Dzerkach Viktar / Shutterstock.com

More about the Largest Airports in the World

There’s a lot to learn from looking at a country’s airport. The Airport’s size can be linked with the economic development of the country. A large increase in the number of visitors can tell you that the destination and the airlines did a really good job with their marketing campaigns.

When deciding which one is the largest airport in the world, we think it’s best to look at the number of passengers. That will give you an idea of how many passengers the airports can host. To decide which one is the biggest airport in the world by size might not be the best way since many airports don’t use the entire surface.

Information about the busiest airports in the world

Photo: Subodh Agnihotri / Shutterstock.com


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