Largest Airports in the World 2022

Air transport has developed into an integral part of the international economy. More people use it than any other long-distance transportation method since it can get them to their destinations faster and safer than trains, automobiles, or ships can.

Transportation of goods, mail and even military supplies is greatly facilitated by air travel.

Since then, cities all around the globe have rapidly reacted, building mammoth airports and supporting infrastructure to keep up with the soaring demand for accessible, low-cost air travel. Can you name the world’s busiest airport?

You need to specify what you mean by biggest before answering that question. An examination of the biggest airport in the world in terms of size, traffic, and overall volume is provided below (number of flights).

Largest Airports in the World 2022

Top 10 Airports by Land Area (in square miles) in the World:

  • King Fahd International (DMM) — Dammam, Saudi Arabia — 776 km2 (299.61 mi2)
  • Denver International (DEN) — Denver, CO United States — 135.7 km2 (53.09 mi2)
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) — Dallas, TX United States — 69.6 km2 (26.88 mi2)
  • Orlando International (MCO) — Orlando, FL United States — 53.8 km2 (20.78 mi2)
  • Washington Dulles International (IAD) — Washington D.C., United States — 48.6 km2 (18.75 mi2)
  • 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)
  • Suvarnabhumi International (BKK) — Bangkok, Thailand — 32.4 km2 (12.51 mi2)

Located in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, King Fahd International Airport has the largest footprint of any airport in the world. This old U.S. airfield is almost as large as the five boroughs of New York City combined, at approximately 300 square miles (302.6 mi2).

It has a mosque that can hold up to 2,000 people, a residential complex that can accommodate up to 3,000 people, and greenhouses that feed the landscape plants.

King Fahd International Airport is located in Saudi Arabia and has a huge footprint and outstanding amenities, yet it only serves roughly 9.7 million people per year, putting it outside the top 100 airports in the world.

King Fahd International Airport ranks as Saudi Arabia’s third busiest airport. King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah is the busiest, serving 41 million people each year, many of whom are making the journey to Mecca as part of a religious pilgrimage.

The Beijing Daxing Airport in China is home to the world’s biggest airport terminal. The terminal is around the size of 97 football or soccer fields, with a total area of almost 696,773 square metres (7.5 million square feet) (130 American football fields).

Beijing Daxing’s terminal was cleverly designed in the form of a starfish to speed up the process of getting to the appropriate departure gate.

Beijing Daxing Airport is expected to become the busiest airport in the world by 2040, thus its forward-thinking design will become even more important in the years to come. Even if physical sprawl is remarkable, it is not the primary indicator of scale.

A further indicator is the number of passengers. The top airports in the world would be ranked quite differently if passengers were taken into account.

Largest Airports in the World 2022

Top 10 International Airports by Total Passengers Served in 2020

  • Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) — Guangzhou, China — 43,767,558
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) — Atlanta, GA United States — 42,918,685
  • Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU) — Chengdu, China — 40,741,509
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) — Grapevine, TX United States — 39,364,990
  • Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport (SZX) — Shenzhen, China — 37,916,054
  • Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (CKG) — Chongqing, China — 34,937,789
  • Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) – Beijing, China – 34,513,827
  • Denver International Airport (DEN) – Denver, CO United States – 33,741,129
  • Kunming Changshui International Airport (KMG) – Kunming, China – 32,990,805
  • Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA) – Shanghai, China – 31,165,641

Most of the world’s busiest airports in 2019, including Dubai International Airport (DXB), Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), and Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND), are not included on this list, which is dominated by airports in China and the United States.

This list doesn’t make much sense at first, but when you factor in how 2020 will be different due to COVID-19, things start to make more sense.

Despite the restrictions on foreign travel in the year 2020, China and the United States remain important business travel destinations due to their large populations and wide landmasses.

Even more unexpected is the fact that Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport, which has been ranked first for more than 20 years (since 1998), has dropped to second place.

Atlanta, the 37th most populated city in the US, is yet no more than a two-hour flight from 80% of the country (not to mention many popular warm-weather vacation destinations).

More than 110 million travellers use Hartsfield-Jackson annually because of its central position and Atlanta’s status as a major business and tourist destination.

This airport’s passenger traffic dropped 61% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated travel restrictions, more than any other airport in the top 10 except Beijing Capital.

Due to this decline, Guangzhou Baiyu, which lost just 40.4% of its passengers, surpassed the competition and will remain in first place until 2020.

New York Metropolis is the biggest city in the United States and one of the most significant cities in the world, thus it seems to reason that it would be included here.

However, smaller towns with just one airport, such as Atlanta, Denver, and Dallas/Fort Worth, all surpass the traffic of each New York City airport since New York’s traffic is distributed over three airports.

When all three of New York City’s airports are added together, the city serves around 130 million passengers each year, which is far more than Hartsfield-Jackson can handle on its own.

Multiple airports serve many large cities. If we count all the airports in a city’s metropolitan region, London would have the most airport passengers.

There are a total of six airports within the greater London region. They only have two in the top 50, yet in 2018, they carried an estimated 177 million passengers.

Now that we’ve seen which airports will have the most passengers in 2020, we can move on to the category with the most flights. The correct word is “aircraft movements,” which describes both takeoffs and landings at the airport.

Largest Airports in the World 2022

Top 10 Airports with the Most Take-Offs and Landings in the World in 2020

  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) — Atlanta, GA United States — 548,016
  • O’Hare International Airport (ORD) — Chicago, IL United States — 538,211
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) — Dallas, TX United States — 514,702
  • Denver International (DEN) — Denver, CO United States — 436,971
  • Phoenix Deer Valley (DVT) — Phoenix, AZ United States — 402,444
  • Charlotte Douglas International (CLT) — Charlotte, NC United States — 397,983
  • Los Angeles International (LAX) — Los Angeles, CA United States — 379,364
  • Guangzhou Baiyun International (CAN) — Guangzhou, China — 373,421
  • Shanghai Pudong International (PVG) — Shanghai, China — 325,678
  • McCarran International Airport (LAS) — Las Vegas, NV United States — 323,422

Also See: India States 2022

In 2020, the top three airports globally were responsible for guiding an average of 1,460 takeoffs and landings every day. Despite the staggering numbers, this is a marked decrease from 2019 when ORD and ATL processed 919,704 and 904,301 aircraft movements, or an average of 2499 each day.

CountryCityAirport NameAirport CodeSize (km²)Size (mi²)
Saudi ArabiaDammanKing Fahd InternationalDMM776299.6100
United StatesDenverDenver InternationalDEN135.700052.3900
United StatesDallasDallas/Fort Worth InternationalDFW69.600026.8700
United StatesOrlandoOrlando InternationalMCO53.800020.7800
United StatesWashington D.C.Washington Dulles InternationalIAD48.600018.7500
ChinaBejingBeijing Daxing InternationalPKX46.600018
United StatesHoustonGeorge Bush IntercontinentalIAH44.500017.1900
ChinaShanghaiShanghai Pudong InternationalPVG39.900015.4000
EgyptCairoCairo InternationalCAI36.300014
ThailandBangkokSuvarnabhumi InternationalBKK32.400012.5100

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