Traveling is one of the best past times for many around the globe. If you are not traveling for a past time then it is likely that you are traveling for business. This means that you are likely to be traveling through one of the world’s largest airports. These are the top eighteen airports in the world by size. These are the airports that you do not want to get lost in, but thankfully each of their websites offers a nice explanation of the best way to travel through the airports so that you can be sure you are getting to your gate on time. Plus, you can check out the other entertainment and options to be able to find something to do while you are traveling or stuck with a layover. So, the next time that you are traveling through one of these mega-airports, you will be able to find the information that you need to travel through the airport.
King Fahd International Airport
WHERE: Dammam, Saudi Arabia
SIZE: 780 square kilometers
King Fahd International Airport was built from a 1976 design. The construction started in 1983 and ended in 1999 making this airport the largest in the world. It has yet to be surpassed as other airports are considerably smaller than this one. Commercial operations from the airport began as soon as the construction was completed.The airport actually features a six story terminal. The architectural style is very unique as it blends together the Saudi Arabia past and heritage from older Islamic styles and blends them with a modern flare. In addition there is a mosque that is on top of the airport’s parking structure. This allows for people to be able to celebrate their faith when they are traveling. The mosque actually has room for up to two thousand people. There is also a special royal terminal that is only available for those who are part of the royal family, government officials, and foreign officials.
Denver International Airport
WHERE: Denver, Colorado, United States of America
SIZE: 135.71 square kilometers
Denver International Airport is the largest airport in the United States and the second largest airport in the entire world. It also has the longest public use runway in the United States.There are non-stop connections offered to Europe, North America, Latin America, and Asia.They are the third largest connection airport in the United States as well. From 2005 until 2010, for six years consecutively, this airport was voted as the best airport in the United States. It was also named the best run airport in the United States by TIME Magazine in 2002.This airport is the main hub for Frontier Airlines and is the fourth largest hub for Delta Airlines.
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
WHERE: Dallas, Texas, United States of America
SIZE: 78 square kilometers
The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is not just large, but it also has some of the most innovation of airports in the United States. You can fly to more than two hundred destinations with flights that originate here. In addition to being one of the largest airports in the world, it is also one of the busiest. You can fly to over two hundred destinations around the world from flights originating at this location. Many people flying from this airport choose to fly to Los Angeles, California or Chicago, Illinois as these are the two most popular destinations. There are five terminals in this airport. One of the things that is unique here is that this was one of the first airports to use a conveyor system to help people to move freely and quickly through the airport.
Orlando International Airport
WHERE: Orlando, Florida, United States of America
SIZE: 53.83 square kilometers
Orlando International Airport is certainly one of the busiest airports in the world as Orlando is home to one of the main tourist destinations in the world, Walt Disney World. In addition to Walt Disney World, the Orlando area is home to Busch Gardens, Sea World, Wet & Wild Waterpark, Universal Orlando, and more. There is never a reason to be short on something to do when you are in Orlando. Another thing to consider is that more than half of the population of the entire state is able to get to Orlando’s airport by driving two hours or less. In addition to tourism, there are many other reasons that make this airport so large. It is a great airport to travel through if you are going to be headed somewhere in the Caribbean or even South America. It’s also a good stopping point for much of the United States on their way to places like Africa. One thing is for certain, you are sure to catch the Disney bug while you are traveling through as the airport has a Disneyesque feel and lots of Disney merchandise to check out.
Washington Dulles International Airport
WHERE: Washington D.C., United States of America
SIZE: 48.56 square kilometers
Washington Dulles International Airport is another popular airport that is in the United States. This one is a little smaller, but still large in size. The airport, while it is claimed to be in Washington D.C., is actually about 20 miles away from the city in the Fairfax and Loudoun counties in Virginia. It is the largest airport on the east coast. The airport has a strong connection to the government and politics that are centered in Washington D.C. It was actually named after the secretary of state who served under President Eisenhower, John Foster Dulles. The airport has one hundred and thirty five gates and flies to over one hundred destinations around the globe. There are litearally flights to most places where there is a U.S. embassy and multiple domestic places as well.
George Bush Intercontinental Airport
WHERE: Houston, Texas, United States of America
SIZE: 44.51 square kilometers
The George Bush Intercontinental Airport is credited with being in Houston, but it is actually located twenty three miles from the city’s center. It is known for serving the greater Houston area and is one of the most traveled airports in the state of Texas. The airport was originally named the Houston International Airport. However, after the 41st president, George Bush, the airport was renamed in his honor. The airport services over forty million passengers each year making it one of the most traveled airports in the United States and the world. The airport features five runways. It is home to the second largest hub for United Airlines.
Kansas City International Airport
WHERE: Kansas City, Missouri, United States of America
SIZE: 43.2 square kilometers
The Kansas City International Airport is one of the best laid out airports in the United States and possibly the world. Thanks to its spacious design, you are able to travel with ease as you fly both to and from this airport. While this airport is one of the largest in the United States, it is certainly not anywhere close to being the busiest. Thanks to there being so many technology based and telecommunications companies having headquarters in the city, it is home to a lot of business related travelers. One of the things that makes this airport unique is that there are multiple facilities that are dedicated to housing large aircrafts as they are being worked on for basic maintenance and repairs. The airport was built in the 1950s. It features three terminals with two asphalt runways and one concrete runway. Each year there are just over ten million passengers that fly to, from, or through the airport. This is perhaps the lowest number of passengers on this list as the airport is really lightly traveled.
Shanghai Pudong International Airport
WHERE: Shanghai, China
SIZE: 39.88 square kilometers
The Shanghai Pudong International Airport is not located far from Shanghai’s city center. This makes this a convenient airport if you are traveling to Shanghai. However, this is not the cities only airport. In fact, there are two international airports that are located in Shanghai. Most international flights that are going into or from China are through this airport. It is also the home base/hub for Shanghai Airlines and China Eastern Airlines. This is why it often has so much more traffic and several million more passengers than the other airport located in the same city. It is the fifth busiest airport in Asia and the ninth busiest airport in the entire world. The airport actually helps over sentey million passengers each year to travel to or through China. However, one of the things that many people do not realize is that this airport is also a cargo hub. It actually ranks as third in the world for cargo and has over 3,400,000 million tons of cargo flown through the airport annually. There are two terminals and five runways made from concrete at this airport.
Cairo International Airport
WHERE: Cairo, Egypt
SIZE: 36.25 square kilometers
Cairo International Airport is the main airport of Egypt. It is also the busiest airport in Egypt and the second busiest airport in Africa. This airport actually served as the U.S. military base during World War II in Africa. This was before it was turned into an international airport that serviced regular passengers. It is home to two of the largest airlines in Africa, EgyptAir and Nile Air. Both of these are regularly serving passengers from around the globe. While this airport does rank as one of the largest in the world, it is does not rank as one of the busiest on a world-wide scale. In fact, in comparison to other airports around the globe, it has mild traffic. There are three runways made of asphalt and three terminals at the airport. This allows for the traffic to have a steady, but not too busy flow.
WHERE: Bangkok, Thailand
SIZE: 32.4 square kilometers
Suvamabhumi Airport is also known as Bangkok International Airport. It is one of the largest international airports in southeast Asia. In fact, it is the second largest airport in southeast Asia. It serves as a hub for some of the major airlines in Asia. The airlines include Bangkok Airlines and Jet Asia Airways. It has a couple of things that make the airport distinct. One of these is that it features one of the largest control towers in the entire world. Another is that it has one of the largest single building terminals in the world. However, with all of that it only falls as the ninth busiest airport in Asia and it services around sixty million passengers each year. The other airports in Asia are smaller but busier. The word Suvamabhumi translates to “Golden Land” or “Land of Gold” and really offers a look at the rich history of Bangkok.
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
WHERE: Pairs, France
SIZE: 32.37 square kilometers
The Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is named after former French president Charles de Gaulle. It is the largest airport in France and the primary airport of the country. It is the hub for Air France which is one of the largest European airlines. The airport has three terminals and four asphalt runways. It was ranked as the second busiest airports in Europe. It is just behind the Heathrow Airport in England. The airport has over sixty eight million passengers each year. The airport is about fifth for international air traffic. This airport is quite popular due to the fact that it is located in Paris and millions travel to the city each year to experience the sights and sounds that Paris has to offer.
Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barjas Airport
WHERE: Madrid, Spain
SIZE: 30.5 square kilometers
Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barjas Airport is actually the second largest airport in all of Europe. The airport opened in 1928 and is actually located right in the heard of Madrid. While most cities tend to build airports quite a ways outside of the city, this airport is a short walk from the Plaza Mayor de Madrid, so the airport is literally in the heart of the city. The airport is sixth largest in passenger travel and annually serves over fifty million people. The one airline that is stationed out of the Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barjas Airport is Iberia Airlines. The airport has four runways. It was named after the former Spanish Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez.
O’Hare International Airport
WHERE: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
SIZE: 29.13 square kilometers
Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport is actually one of two international airports that are located within the city, the other being Midway International Airport. This is one of the busiest airports in the world, it serves millions of passengers each year. It is in a constant competition with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for the most flights, take-offs and landings, in the United States each year. This is important to note because some years it will be number one and other years the airport is ranked as number two. The airport is located just north of the Chicago Loop and offers a great way to get to downtown Chicago with ease thanks to the Chicago public transit system. There are actually eight different runways at the airport some of which are concrete and others that are asphalt.
Leonardo da Vinci International Airport
WHERE: Fiumicino, Rome, Italy
SIZE: 29 square kilometers
Leonardo da Vinci International Airport is the busiest airport in Rome and is often referred to as Fiumicino Airport. It is one of the largest international airports in Italy and even in Europe. It is the tenth busiest airport in Europe with over forty million passengers each year. The airport is named after the famed Italian artists, Leonardo Da Vinci. It is home to Alitalia and Vueling airlines which serve Italy and other areas of Europe. They both also have international flights to and from the United States. This airport actually has four asphalt covered runways.
Dubai International Airport
WHERE: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
SIZE: 29 square kilometers
Dubai International Airport is the main airport of Dubai. It is known for being one of the busiest airports in the entire world. Based on the total number of passengers, it is the third busiest airport in the world. However, when looking at international passenger traffic, it is the busiest airport in the world. The airport actually serves close to ninety million passengers each year. In 2016, the airport helped to bring in over $26 billion to the economy of Dubai. Today that number is expected to continue to grow and will reach more than $90 billion by 2030. The airport features two runways and three terminals.
Salt Lake City International Airport
WHERE: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America
SIZE: 28.3 square kilometers
While the Salt Lake City International Airport is one of the largest in the world, it is certainly not one of the busiest. The airport does service over twenty million passengers each year so there is some traffic, but compared to the others on this list, it is not as much traffic. The airport has four runways, one that is concrete and three that are asphalt. It also has three asphalt helipads for those helicopters that are popular to fly around the area in order to best see the landscape and beauty that Salt Lake City has to offer. This airport is unique in that it doubles as a military airport and the Utah Air National Guard actually operates their own airport, Ronald R. Wright Air National Guard Base is on the east side of the airport.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
WHERE: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
SIZE: 27.87 square kilometers
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is one of the busiest airports in Europe and is the main airport for all traffic coming into Amsterdam. There is an average of more than sixty million travelers per year that are traveling through this airport. One of the things that makes this airport unique is that it has one terminal that separates into three departure hubs. This airport opened in 1916 and was a military base at the time. During World War II, the airport was completely destroyed. However, it was rebuilt and by 1949 it was recognized as the main airport of Amsterdam. Today the airport has over six asphalt covered runways.
WHERE: Frankfurt, Germany
SIZE: 23 square kilometers
Frankfurt Airport has earned a nickname that few airports earn and that is an airport city. This is because of the many amenities and conveniences that are available at the airport itself. It is a modern airport that became operational in 1936. It sees far more foot traffic than other airports in Germany. It serves nearly sixty million passengers each year. It also sees more than five hundred thousand take offs and landings each year. There are actually entertainment, banking, currency exchanges, shopping, dining, offices, parking facilities, conference spaces, communications centers, more located within the airport. The airport is continually being improved and changed.