What are the biggest airports in the world?

Harry Oliver


The World’s Largest Airports: Where Size Takes Flight

Hey there, fellow globetrotters! Have you ever marveled at the sheer scale of the airports that connect our world? These bustling gateways, besides whisking us off to far-flung destinations, are fascinating marvels of modern engineering and infrastructure. In this article, we’re about to embark on a journey to explore the largest airports in the world in 2023, focusing on their vast land areas. So, fasten your seatbelts, and let’s take off!

10. Cairo International Airport (CAI) – 14 Square Miles

Our journey begins in the land of the Pharaohs, Egypt, with the Cairo International Airport. Established in 1963, this airport is not only the busiest in Egypt but also the busiest on the entire African continent. It’s a buzzing hub for Egyptair, Air Cairo, Air Arabia Egypt, and Nile Air. To tackle the ever-growing passenger numbers, the airport boasts four terminals, with a special Seasonal Flight Terminal to handle peak travel seasons.

9. Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) – 15 Square Miles

Next up, we jet off to China’s vibrant metropolis, Shanghai, home to the Shanghai Pudong International Airport. This aviation marvel commenced its commercial operations in 1999 and plays a vital role in connecting China with the world. Shanghai Airlines and China Eastern Airlines are among its key players. The airport has two passenger terminals and recently expanded with a third terminal and two new runways in 2021.

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8. George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) – 17 Square Miles

Now, let’s head to the Lone Star State, Texas, where we find the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. This airport, initially known as Houston Intercontinental Airport, opened its doors in 1969 and is a crucial hub for United Airlines and a focus city for Spirit Airlines. With five terminals named A, B, C, D, and E, George Bush Airport efficiently handles both domestic and international flights, thanks to its five runways.

7. Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX) – 18 Square Miles

China once again makes an appearance on our list with the Beijing Daxing International Airport, situated in the bustling capital city. Operating since 2019, Daxing Airport has quickly risen to prominence as the central aviation hub for three major Chinese airlines: Air China, China Southern Airlines, and China Eastern Airlines. Its unique single-terminal design, with five concourses, resembles a starfish when viewed from above. To manage its extensive operations, the airport is equipped with four runways.

6. Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) – 18 Square Miles

Moving back to the United States, we find the Washington Dulles International Airport, affectionately known as Dulles International Airport. It’s been in operation since 1962 and is not just a hub for United Airlines but also a significant player for Southern Airways Express. This airport ranks as the world’s fifth-largest and the fourth-largest in the United States. Its terminal setup includes a central main terminal and two midfield terminal buildings, with a total of four runways keeping the traffic flowing.

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5. Orlando International Airport (MCO) – 20 Square Miles

Our journey now takes us to sunny Orlando, Florida, where the Orlando International Airport has been serving passengers since 1940. This bustling airport is a major operating base for several prominent airlines like Frontier Airlines, Avelo Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Spirit Airlines. To keep things organized, the airport’s main terminal is divided into three segments – Terminals A, B, and C. With four runways in place, it’s well-prepared for all the comings and goings.

4. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) – 26 Square Miles

Heading to the heart of Texas, we find the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, a pivotal aviation hub since 1973. This airport is a bustling hub for various airlines, including American Airlines, Ameriflight, Southern Airways Express, and UPS Airlines. It’s also a focus city for Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and Sun Country Airlines. With five terminals in place and seven runways, DFW has quite the setup.

3. Istanbul Airport (IST) – 29.5 Square Miles

Touching down in Istanbul, Turkey, we come across the Istanbul Airport, a major global hub for Turkish Airlines. This airport boasts an impressive runway infrastructure, with five runways, some exceeding 13,000 feet in length, allowing for the efficient handling of numerous flights. Istanbul Airport also offers modern amenities like lounges, shops, and dining options, making it a comfortable choice for travelers connecting between Europe and Asia. By 2025, it’s set to have six runways, with a capacity for a whopping 200 million passengers annually.

2. Denver International Airport (DEN) – 53 Square Miles

Now, let’s fly over to the Mile High City, Denver, Colorado, where the Denver International Airport reigns supreme. Operating since 1995, it’s the second-largest airport globally and the largest within the United States. With the title of the world’s second-busiest airport, it’s a hub for United Airlines, Southern Airways Express, and Denver Air Connection, and also a base for Southwest Airlines and Frontier Airlines. Denver Airport boasts a single terminal connected to three primary midfield concourses – A, B, and C – and an impressive six runways to manage its high-volume air traffic.

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1. King Fahd International Airport (DMM) – 299 Square Miles

And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for – the grand finale! In the vast expanse of Saudi Arabia, we find the King Fahd International Airport, also known as Dammam Airport. Commencing operations in 1999, this colossal airport spans an astonishing 299 square miles. It’s a hub for Saudia, Flyadeal, and Flynas. The airport comprises three distinct terminal buildings, catering to international and domestic flights, private airlines operated by Saudi Aramco, and the royal family of Saudi Arabia, official guests, and government officials. Keeping things running smoothly are two runways.

So there you have it, folks – the world’s top 10 largest airports in 2023, where size truly takes flight. Remember, these sizes are approximate and rounded values, but they give you a glimpse of the colossal infrastructure behind the scenes as you jet off to your next adventure. Safe travels!