Top 15 Largest Airports in the World 2020 | Improb (2023)

Think getting lost in an airport is a hassle? Try getting lost in the largest airports in the world. Check out the 15 largest airports in the world based on surface area. Make sure to jot down these airports for future reference, especially if you love to travel.

15. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

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Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the main international airport in the Netherlands. It is the third busiest airport in Europe in terms of passenger traffic, serving over 63 million passengers in 2016. It is notable for housing only a single large terminal which splits into three departure halls.

Located southwest of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol was originally a military base when it opened in 1916. It was destroyed during World War II but was quickly rebuilt and was eventually recognized as the main airport in the Netherlands in 1949. The airport covers 2,787 hectares of land and includes six runways with asphalt surfaces.

14. Dubai International Airport

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Dubai International Airport is the main international airport in Dubai and regularly ranks as one of the busiest airports in the world. It ranks third in the list of the busiest airports in the world based on passenger traffic but first in terms of international passenger traffic. In 2016, the airport served over 83 million passengers.

Dubai International Airport contributes over $26 billion to the Dubai economy. Analysts say that number would balloon to almost $90 billion by 2030. The airport covers 2,900 hectares of land and includes two runways and three terminals.

13. Leonardo da Vinci International Airport

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Leonardo da Vinci International Airport is one of the largest international airports in Italy. It is located in Fiumicino, Rome and is often referred to as simply Fiumicino Airport. With over 41 million passengers served, the airport ranked tenth in the list of the busiest airports in Europe in 2016.

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Obviously named after the great Leonardo da Vinci, the international airport serves as the home base of Alitalia and Vueling. It includes four asphalt runways and covers around 2,900 hectares of land, basically tying it with Dubai International Airport in our list of the largest airports in the world.

12. Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport

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Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport is the second largest international airport in Europe right behind Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. Opened in 1928, the airport is located in Madrid, Spain and is about 13 kilometers away from Plaza Mayor de Madrid.

Serving as the home base of Iberia Airlines, Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport is the sixth busiest international airport in Europe with 50 million passengers served in 2016. It edged out Barcelona El Prat Airport by about six million. Named after former Spanish Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez, the international airport has four runways spread out over 3,050 hectares of land.

11. Chicago O’Hare International Airport

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Chicago O’Hare International Airport is one of the two major international airports located in Chicago, Illinois – the other one would be Midway International Airport. It is the sixth-ranked busiest airport in the world based on passenger traffic in 2016.

In 2014, it overtook the famed Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for the most number of takeoffs and landings, and then coughed up the title a year later. The airport sits 27 kilometers northwest of the Chicago Loop or the central business district. It has eight runways made of asphalt and concrete and covers 3,087 hectares of land.

10. Salt Lake City International Airport

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Salt Lake City International Airport may not be one of the busiest international airports in the world, serving “only” 23 million passengers in 2016. But in terms of surface area, it is definitely one of the largest in the world. The airport covers approximately 3,116 hectares of land.

Located 6.4 kilometers away from Downtown Salt Lake City, the international airport features three asphalt runways, one concrete runway, and three asphalt helipads. It also doubles as a military airport, with the Utah Air National Guard occupying the Roland R. Wright Air National Guard Base located on the east side of the airport.

(Video) Top 10 Busiest Airports in the World 2020

9. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

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Named after former French President Charles de Gaulle, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is the largest and primary international airport in France. It is the main hub of Air France, one of the largest European airlines. The airport covers about 3,200 hectares of land and features three terminals and four asphalt runways.

In 2016, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport ranked second in the list of the busiest airports in Europe, just behind Heathrow Airport in London. It served almost 66 million passengers last year, which is almost identical to the number of passengers the airport served in 2015. In terms of international passenger traffic, the airport ranked fifth in 2016.

8. Suvarnabhumi Airport

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Commonly known as Bangkok International Airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport is one of the largest international airports in Southeast Asia. In fact, the airport is just one of two Southeast Asian international airports to make it to this list. It serves as the main hub for several notable Asian airlines, including Bangkok Airways and Jet Asia Airways.

Covering 3,240 hectares of land, Suvarnabhumi Airport is known for having one of the tallest control towers and one of the largest single-building terminals in the world. It is the ninth busiest international airport in Asia, serving almost 56 million passengers in 2016. The name of the airport translates to “Land of Gold” or “Golden Land.”

7. Cairo International Airport

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Cairo International Airport is the busiest airport in Egypt and the second busiest airport in Africa. It served as a US base during World War II before it was turned into an international airport. It is located in Heliopolis, serving as the main hub for EgyptAir and Nile Air, two of the largest airlines in Egypt.

Cairo International Airport is one of the largest airports in the world, though it isn’t one of the busiest in terms of international passenger traffic. The airport has three terminals and three asphalt runways spread out over 3,700 hectares of land.

6. Shanghai Pudong International Airport

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Located 30 kilometers away from the Shanghai city center, Shanghai Pudong International Airport is one of the two international airports in Shanghai. It is the main hub for most international flights and serves as a home base for China Eastern Airlines and Shanghai Airlines.

Shanghai Pudong International Airport is the fifth busiest international airport in Asia and the ninth busiest in terms of overall passenger traffic. It served 66 million passengers in 2016. In terms of cargo traffic, it ranks third in the world, handling about 3,440,279.70 tons of cargo in 2016. The airport covers 4,000 hectares of land and includes two terminals and five concrete runways.

5. Kansas City International Airport

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Kansas City International Airport is one of the largest airports in the US, though it is far from the busiest in the country. It is located in Kansas City, Missouri and houses several facilities for repairing particularly large aircrafts.

Built in the 1950s, Kansas City International Airport covers 4,320 hectares of land and features three terminals, two asphalt runways, and one concrete runway. In 2016, the relatively low-key international airport served about 11 million passengers, which hardly makes it one of the busiest in the world. Only one other airport on this list serves fewer passengers than Kansas City International Airport.

4. Washington Dulles International Airport

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Named after John Foster Dulles, the 52nd Secretary of State, Washington Dulles International Airport is one of the three major airports in the Baltimore-Washington area. It is the largest of the three – but is dead last in terms of passengers served.

Washington Dulles International Airport served almost 22 million passengers in 2016 – Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport got 23.6 million while Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport registered 25 million. The airport occupies around 5,200 hectares of land, though not all of the space is being used for airport facilities. It includes the main terminal, two sub-terminals, and four concrete runways with another one on the way (pun shamelessly intended).

3. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

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Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is the second largest international airport in the US and the third overall in the world. It is the 11th busiest international airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, serving about 65.6 million passengers in 2016, the largest number ever recorded in the airport’s history.

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The airport covers 6,963 hectares of land, making it larger than the entire island of Manhattan. It has five operational terminals, with another one in development, and seven concrete runways. The airport is so large that it has its own post office ZIP code and houses its own police, fire protection, and emergency medical services. It is often cited as one of the best airports in the world in regard to overall quality.

2. Denver International Airport

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Denver International Airport is the largest international airport in the US, coming in with almost double the size of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. It covers a whopping 13,570 hectares of land, dwarfing all the other previously mentioned airports on this list.

Denver International Airport is the main hub for Frontier Airlines and Great Lakes Airlines, pulls down $26.3 billion for the economy, and features six concrete runways. It is one of the busiest in the world with 58 million passengers served in 2016, which is good for 18th overall in terms of passenger traffic. But for comparison, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the busiest airport in the world, nearly doubled that number in 2016.

1. King Fahd International Airport

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King Fahd International Airport is the granddaddy of all airports in the world. Located in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, the total area covered by the property stands at an unreal 77,600 hectares, making all the other airports on this list look like a Lego set in comparison. The airport is larger than the entire country of Bahrain, which is insane.

But here’s the fun fact: Only 3,675 hectares of that space is being utilized for airport facilities. Yep, only less than 5 percent of the available space is being used. Talk about a waste of space. If we went with the actual size of the airport, it would have ranked lower on this list.

King Fahd International Airport is the youngest of the airports on this list – it opened just before the turn of the new millennium in November 1999. It is also the least busy in terms of passenger traffic, barely breaking past 10 million in annual passengers served. So you could say that the largest airport in the world is also the most unproductive.

And that’s it for our list of the largest airports in the world. Again, make sure that you remember the names of these airports when traveling. You don’t ever want to get lost in these airports.

(Video) Top 20 Busiest Airports in the World 2022

FAQs

What is the biggest airport in the world 2020? ›

King Fahd International Airport (DMM), Saudi Arabia –With a surface area of around 300 sq miles, King Fahd International Airport (DMM) is the largest airport in the world. The airport is located in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, and sprawls over 192,000 acres of land!

Which is the biggest airport in the world 2022? ›

Atlanta continues to be the world's busiest airport with 4.7 million seats. Dubai and Tokyo Haneda airports remain in 2nd and 3rd places with Dubai increasing capacity between December 2022 and January 2023 by 1% and Tokyo Haneda staying the same as last month.

Where does Atlanta airport rank in size? ›

1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL): Atlanta, GA – 110.5 Million Passengers. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport may take up over 4,700 acres of land, but that impressive size is still over 1,000 acres less than it would need to break into the top ten largest airports in the US.

Is Atlanta the largest airport in the world? ›

The largest airport in this ranking is the Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the United States. With 707,661 starts and landings in 2021, it belongs without doubt on the list of the biggest airports worldwide.

What is the nicest airport in the world? ›

View the Top 10 Airport Ratings 2022. Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, is named the World's Best Airport 2022, with Tokyo Haneda Airport in 2nd place and Changi Airport Singapore ranked 3rd.

What are the 5 largest airport in the world? ›

Beijing Daxing International (PKX) — Beijing, China — 46.6 km2 (18 mi2) George Bush Intercontinental (IAH) — Houston, TX United States — 44.5 km2 (17.19 mi2) Shanghai Pudong International (PVG) — Shanghai, China — 39.9 km2 (15.4 mi2) Cairo International (CAI) — Cairo, Egypt — 36.3 km2 (14 mi2)

Where is the smallest airport in US? ›

The rather unique honor of hosting the smaller airport in the US goes to Montana. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Dawson Community Airport is the smallest in America. It covers a mere 413 acres and is at an elevation of 2,458 feet, and is five miles northwest of Glendive in Dawson County.

Is Atlanta the biggest airport in the US? ›

1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Georgia, USA is the world's busiest airport. It is the only airport to serve over 100 million passengers yearly, and has done so for three years running!

How many airports in USA? ›

There are over 15,000 airports in the world. In the US alone, there are 19,622 airports, including over 5,000 public airports.

What is the number 1 best airport? ›

1 best mega airport: Minneapolis-Saint Paul International. The Minnesota airport ranked the highest in passenger satisfaction, scoring 800/1000. Minneapolis-Sant Paul International is ideally located between the two major cities.

What is the 2nd biggest airport in the US? ›

With a surface area of around 27 square miles, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) is the second biggest airport in the US. It is located between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth and sprawls over 17,207 acres. DFW offers service to approximately 273 destinations in 44 countries.

Why is Atlanta airport so big? ›

One reason is its role as a top gateway to Florida. In fact, Atlanta's single busiest market ranked by seat capacity is Orlando, which also happens to be one of the busiest routes in the US. On any given Atlanta-Orlando flight, of course, there are many connecting passengers.

What is the 3 biggest airport in the world? ›

3. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) — Dallas, Texas. Situated in the Texas prairie between the major cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, DFW airport, the third largest airport in the world, may be quite familiar to American Airlines passengers.

What is the newest major airport in the US? ›

United Airlines' Flight 4643 Thursday morning from Denver to Williston, North Dakota, will be historic, the first flight to land at the country's newest airport. Williston Basin International Airport, code XWA, will open the morning after the shutdown of Williston's Sloulin Field International Airport.

Which US state has no airport? ›

Hawaii, Alaska and Maryland are the only three states that don't have one. Now, if our airports were the model of efficiency and order, we wouldn't need to question why we have eschewed something that the vast majority of states have deemed necessary.

Where is America's Friendliest airport? ›

America's Friendliest Airport: Phoenix Sky Harbor International.

What is the safest airport in the world? ›

Zurich Airport is voted the World's Best Airport for Passenger Security Screening in 2022. The award is voted for by customers in the World Airport Survey. Incheon International Airport is ranked 2nd, with Tokyo Haneda International Airport in 3rd position.

What is the hardest airport to land at? ›

Paro, Bhutan

Planes can only land during the day at Paro. Cantilevered 7,364 feet above sea level, Paro is Bhutan's only international airport -- yet few pilots are cleared to land there, so tricky is the approach.

Where is hidden airport? ›

Hindon Airport is a Civil Enclave in Ghaziabad Distt. of Uttar Pradesh, operated by the Airports Authority of India at Hindan Air Force Station.

What is the most luxurious airport? ›

Doha Hamad International Airport in Qatar, Seoul Incheon International in South Korea, and Singapore's Changi Airport are the top three highest-rated international airports for the globe, offering a beautiful blend of comfort, convenience and luxury for tourists and professionals alike.

What is the fastest growing airport in the US? ›

Southern California's Ontario International Airport has been named the fastest-growing airport in the U.S. for the fifth straight year by Global Traveler magazine.

What is the longest single flight in the world? ›

The 10 Longest Flights in the World

If you're looking to maximize your time in the sky, you might consider taking the current longest flight in the world — just board a Singapore Airlines plane in New York City and disembark in Singapore 9,537 miles later.

How many Amazon planes fly a day? ›

Amazon Air now makes an average of 140 flights per day and is expanding its fleet, signaling a “growth spurt this spring,” said the report issued Tuesday by DePaul University's Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development.

Which airport has the longest runway? ›

The longest civil airport runway has a total length of 5.5 km (3.41 miles) and is situated at Qamdo Bamda Airport, in Qamdo, Tibet, China. The airport opened in 1995.

Which city has the most airports? ›

Many cities have more than one airport. These have come about for different reasons - often to cater to expansions in demand for aviation, but also to serve different airlines or city districts. London and New York top the list with six commercial airports each, but which other cities have multiple airports?

Why doesn't Atlanta have a second airport? ›

Both Atlanta and Delta Air Lines, which operates its primary hub there, expressed skepticism about building a second airport because it would be expensive and will likely economically fail, according to Delta.

Which airport is bigger JFK or Atlanta? ›

In terms of land area covered, JFK is a little bigger than Atlanta airport. While JFK airport covers 4,930 acres, Atlanta airport stretches 4,700 acres of land. That makes JFK as bigger than Atlanta airport by 230 acres!

What is America's favorite airport? ›

In the Large airports category, Tampa International Airport (TPA) was the winner. This was the first time TPA made to the top spot—and it got there thanks to strong scores across all factors.

What is the largest airport in the US by land? ›

Denver International Airport, Colorado

Denver International Airport (DIA) is the largest airport in the US, spanning 135.69km². Despite its size, it handled 61.4 million passengers, making it the fifth busiest in the continent.

What airport is bigger than LAX? ›

LAX is not the largest airport in the country. Denver Airport is the largest, with a surface area of 52.4 square miles. The airport has a surface area of 5.4 square miles.

What are the 3 largest airports in the world? ›

Shanghai Pudong International (PVG) — Shanghai, China — 39.9 km2 (15.4 mi2) Cairo International (CAI) — Cairo, Egypt — 36.3 km2 (14 mi2) Suvarnabhumi International (BKK) — Bangkok, Thailand — 32.4 km2 (12.51 mi2)

Which is No 1 airport in world? ›

1. Istanbul Airport (IST) For centuries, Istanbul has sat at the crossroads of international trade and travel, so it's only natural that the Turkish city has finally stepped into its position as a global transport hub in the age of air travel as well.

What is the 2 biggest airport in the US? ›

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, DFW

The second-busiest airport in USA is also the nation's second-biggest airport. Its sheer size of 6,963 hectares spans portions of several counties in Dallas and Fort Worth.

Is Atlanta biggest airport in the world? ›

1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Georgia, USA is the world's busiest airport. It is the only airport to serve over 100 million passengers yearly, and has done so for three years running!

Is Atlanta airport the biggest in the US? ›

The #1 airport in the US is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. Though by far not the biggest airport in the US in size, it sees more passenger traffic than any other in the country, serving 110.5 million passengers at its peak in 2019.

What is the most powerful airport? ›

Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, is named the World's Best Airport 2022, with Tokyo Haneda Airport in 2nd place and Changi Airport Singapore ranked 3rd.

Is LAX bigger than Atlanta airport? ›

No, it isn't. However, it does come a close second to Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which is the busiest airport in the country.

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