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What Is the Biggest and Busiest Airport in the World

By Mary Smith. Updated: September 9, 2019
What Is the Biggest and Busiest Airport in the World

On average, around 216.000 people pass through a big airport each day, this is why International Airports have such big facilities. Though it is a place of passage, many people have intense moments in it, long separations, awaited reunions or greatly expected hopes.

If you are fascinated with aircrafts and everything related to Airports, then this interesting article is for you. OneHowTo will tell you what the biggest and busiest Airport in the World is, as well as explaining the several criteria that can be used to calculate this figure.

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The busiest airport in the World

The general parameters by which the busiest airport in the World is calculated can be different. The usual figure used is the amount of passengers that pass through the airport each year. This includes all passengers: arrival, departures and those in transit. Though they can also be measured by the number of flights or runways, the aforementioned is usually used; though figures differ very little, in fact.

So, funnily enough, the busiest airport in the World is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, located in Atlanta, Georgia (USA). The latest statistics in 2015 show they had 101,491,106 passengers during the past year. Atlanta International Airport has held this title for 15 years now; but why? The reason is pretty logical. Atlanta holds many internal flights in the USA, and is said to be only a two hour flight away from 80% of US citizens' homes.

The podium is completed by Beijing Capital International Airport and Dubai International Airport, with 89.9 million and 88.04 million passengers respectively. Here is the top 10:

  1. Hartsfield - Jackson Atlanta
  2. Beijing Capital Int. Airport
  3. Dubai International Airport
  4. Chicago O'Hare International Airport
  5. London Heathrow Airport
  6. Tokyo Haneda Airport
  7. Los Angeles International Airport
  8. Hong Kong International Airport
  9. Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport
  10. Dallas/ Fort Worth International Airport
What Is the Biggest and Busiest Airport in the World - The busiest airport in the World

The biggest airport in the World

When it comes to terms of size, there is no direct co-relation with the amount of people passing through the airport every day.

The biggest airport in the World is in fact King Fahd International Airport, located in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. This airport has a total land area of 78,000 ha (7.8 million square meters). King Fahd International is distributed in six floors that allocate each floor to a type of passenger: arrivals, boarding, departures and there's even a whole terminal reserved to the Saudi Arabian Royal family!

The runners-up are far behind. Denver International Airport has 13,7 ha whilst Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport has 7,800 ha. Here's the top 10 biggest airports in the World

Other airport records

Now you know about the biggest and busiest International airport, we'd like to give you other interesting facts and records in the world of airports:

Highest number of runways

The US is the country that hosts the airports with the highest number of runways. Chicago O'Hare (USA) currently has a total of 8 runways, having closed one of them due to the fact it intersected with others. However, this is the record for commercial airports, as the Edwards Airforce Base in Southern California has 4 paved runways and 12 marked off runways, though it is only for military use.

Highest number of terminals

There is some discussion on the subject, as the highest number of terminals in one airport is considered to be 9. Both JFK International Airport (New York, USA) and LAX International Airport (Los Angeles, USA) have this number of terminals, though they are small in size and, in the case of JFK, currently has terminals out of use. Chicago O'Hare (USA) and Heathrow (Hillingdon, United Kingdom) both have 4 terminals that are bigger in size.

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