Due to its ability to connect people and things worldwide, air travel has become an essential component of modern life. Airports have changed into busy centres of activity as more people opt to fly.
The list of the busiest airports in the world is examined in this article, along with information about each one’s rankings, amenities, and services. We will also examine the variables affecting airport traffic and talk about anticipated developments in the aviation sector.
Airports Council International, the trade association of the world’s airports are responsible for compiling a list of the busiest airports in the world.
For the second consecutive year, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson international airport topped the list of busiest airports in the world. In 2022, the airport saw a rise of 23.8%, reaching 93,699,630 passengers.
Analyzing a number of crucial parameters is necessary to identify the busiest airports. Some of the most important indicators taken into account are passenger counts, aircraft movements, and cargo volume. The effectiveness and capacity of an airport also have a significant impact on its ranking.
Let’s check out the top busiest airports in the world as follows;
1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is a significant player in the aviation sector, with an amazing 75.7 million passengers travelling through its terminals in the previous year. It serves as an important connecting hub for flights within the United States, especially for travellers flying with Delta and its partner airlines.
However, this airport offers more than just a high volume of traveller flow. The culinary options at Hartsfield-Jackson, which has more than 100 restaurants and bars, have lately increased. One Flew South, a popular upmarket American restaurant, is located in Concourse E, whereas Shake Shack, a popular fast-food restaurant, is located in Concourse A.
Another source of great pleasure is the airport’s art program, which features both continuing and transient displays. Since Hartsfield-Jackson is where Delta’s headquarters are, each of its seven concourses (A, B, C, D, E, F, and T) includes at least one Delta Sky Club. American Airlines Admirals Club, United Club, and the Club at ATL are also open to Priority Pass subscribers and those who buy a day pass.
2. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
According to Airports Council International, it will be the second-busiest airport for passenger traffic and the third-busiest airport in the world for aircraft movements in 2021. It is the largest hub for American Airlines, whose headquarters are nearby. It is Texas’ second busiest international gateway (after Houston-IAH) and the ninth busiest international gateway overall in the United States.
The second-largest airline hub in the world and in the United States is operated by American Airlines at DFW, trailing only the hub of Delta Air Lines in Atlanta. DFW, which spans parts of Dallas and Tarrant counties and includes areas of the cities of Grapevine, Irving, Euless, and Coppell, is situated roughly halfway between the large cities of Dallas and Fort Worth.
3. Denver International Airport (DEN)
It is the second-biggest airport in the world after King Fahd International Airport in terms of land area. It is also the largest airport in the Western Hemisphere. With a length of 16,000 feet (3.03 miles; 4.88 kilometres), Runway 16R/34L is the seventh-longest runway in the world and the longest runway for public use in North America. Downtown Denver is located 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the airport.
The airport is actually located between Commerce City and Aurora with the Southwest side connecting a strip of neighbourhoods, making it 19 miles (31 km) farther than the former Stapleton International Airport, which the facility DEN replaced. Prior to the airport’s construction in 1995, the airport land was originally part of Adams County.
4. Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
As of November 2022, O’Hare offers nonstop service to 214 locations across the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Oceania, and the North Atlantic region.
O’Hare is regarded as the airport with the most connections as of 2023. O’Hare originated as an airstrip supporting a Douglas manufacturing plant for C-54 military transports during World War II. It was intended to replace Chicago’s Midway International Airport, which was known as the “busiest square mile in the world.”
In the middle of the 1940s, it was given the new name Orchard Field Airport and the IATA number ORD. It was renamed in 1949 to honour aviator Edward “Butch” O’Hare, who received the first Medal of Honor from the American Navy during that conflict.
O’Hare’s revolutionary design, the first major airport to be constructed following World War II, helped establish ideas like concourses, direct freeway access to the terminal, jet bridges, and underground refuelling systems.
By serving 54 million people in 2021, O’Hare will rank as the fourth-largest airport in the world for passenger counts. O’Hare rose to fame during the jet era when it was the busiest airport by passenger traffic from 1963 to 1998. O’Hare recorded the most aircraft movements of any airport in the world in 2019 with 919,704, averaging 2,520 a day, in part due to the abundance of regional flights. On the ground, Interstate 190 (Kennedy Expressway), which runs straight into the airport, provides access to the airport via shuttle, bus, or taxi.
United Airlines, whose corporate office is in the Willis Tower, and American Airlines both have large hubs at O’Hare. Spirit Airlines uses it as one of its focus cities.
5. Dubai International Airport (DXB)
A total of 7,200 acres (2,900 ha) of land make up Dubai International Airport, which is located in the Al Garhoud neighbourhood 2.5 nautical miles (4.6 km; 2.9 mi) east of Dubai. The world’s largest airport terminal, Terminal 3, is also the second-largest facility in terms of floor size. As part of Dubai’s ambition to lower the city’s energy usage by 30% by 2030, the largest solar energy system in the region was constructed at Dubai International Airport in July 2019.
Dubai International (DXB) is the home of Emirates Airline’s main airport, and it houses its own terminal 3 with three concourses that they share with Flydubai. Emirates handles 51% of all passenger traffic and over 42% of all aircraft movements at the airport, making it the largest airline hub in the Middle East.
Flydubai, a low-cost airline that handles 13% of passenger traffic and 25% of aircraft movements at DXB, is based at Dubai Airport. A total of 90 million travellers per year can use the airport. As of January 2016, 140 airlines were running more than 7,700 weekly flights to more than 270 destinations on all seven inhabited continents. In 2018, more than 63% of visitors to the airport were connecting passengers.
6. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), a division of the Los Angeles city government that also manages Van Nuys Airport for general aviation, runs the airport. The airport has four parallel runways with a total land area of 3,500 acres (1,400 hectares).
With 88,068,013 passengers handled in 2019, LAX surpassed Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to become the third busiest airport in the world and the busiest airport in the United States.
As the biggest and busiest international airport on the U.S. West Coast, LAX serves as a significant gateway for travellers coming from abroad, especially those coming from East and Southeast Asia, Australasia, Mexico, and Central America.
Since much more people start or conclude their vacations in Los Angeles than use it as a connecting point, the airport retains the title of busiest origin and destination airport in the world. Additionally, it is the only airport to be included among the top five in the nation for both cargo and passenger traffic. More passenger airlines use LAX as a major hub or focus city than any other airport in the country.
7. Istanbul Airport (IST)
The largest of the two international airports servicing Istanbul, Turkey, is Istanbul Airport. It may be found in the city’s Arnavutköy neighbourhood on the continent.
Following the closure of Atatürk Airport for regular passenger flights on April 6, 2019, all planned commercial passenger flights were relocated from Atatürk Airport to Istanbul Airport. The new airport also received the IATA airport code IST.
According to ACI World traffic values, it served more than 64 million passengers in 2022, making it the busiest airport in Europe and the seventh busiest airport in the world in terms of total passenger traffic. It also ranked fifth in the world in terms of international passenger traffic after handling more than 48 million international travellers.
8. Heathrow Airport (LHR)
The primary international airport serving London, England, is Heathrow Airport. Of the six international airports in the London area (the others being Gatwick, City, Luton, Stansted, and Southend), it is the largest.
Heathrow Airport Holdings is the airport’s owner and operator. By international passenger traffic, it was the second busiest airport in the world and the second busiest airport in Europe in 2022. After World War II, Heathrow, which was once only a tiny airstrip, was expanded into a much larger airport. It is located on a site that is 12.27 square kilometres (4.74 square miles) in size, 14 miles (23 kilometers) west of Central London.
9. Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL)
Before the Airports Authority of India took over management of the airport, the Indian Air Force was responsible for its operation.
In May 2006, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), a group headed by the GMR Group, took over management of the airport. A 4,430 m (14,530 ft) runway was inaugurated at the airport in September 2008. With the start of Terminal 3 operations in 2010, it became the largest aviation hub in South Asia and India.
When it was finished, Terminal 3 ranked as the eighth-largest passenger terminal in the world, with a capacity of 34 million passengers yearly. Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM), a cutting-edge system, is used by the airport to maintain takeoffs and landings on schedule and predictable.
10. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
The largest international airport in France, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is the primary airport servicing the French city, Paris (and its metropolitan area). In honor of statesman Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970), whose initials (CDG) are used as its IATA airport code, it was established in 1974 and is located near Roissy-en-France, 23 kilometers (14 miles) northeast of Paris. Air France’s main hub is located at Charles de Gaulle Airport, which is also a destination for other legacy airlines (from Star Alliance, Oneworld, and SkyTeam) and a focus city for budget airlines easyJet and Vueling. Groupe ADP runs it under the name Paris Aéroport.
The principal airport serving the French city of Paris (and its metropolitan region) is Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, which is also the country’s largest international airport. It was founded in 1974 and is situated close to Roissy-en-France, 23 kilometers (14 miles) northeast of Paris.
It is named after statesman Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970), whose initials (CDG) are used as its IATA airport code. Charles de Gaulle Airport serves as the primary hub for Air France as well as other legacy airlines from Star Alliance, Oneworld, and SkyTeam, as well as being a focus city for low-cost carriers easyJet and Vueling. It is operated by Groupe ADP and is known as Paris Aéroport.