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Top 10 Biggest Airports in the World 2023

In the world of air travel, size does really matter. Picture yourself strolling through a massive airport’s terminals and soaking in the cacophony of passengers and planes taking off. Enjoy yourself if you find the splendor of aircraft infrastructure fascinating. In this article, we take a look at the biggest airports in the world, where staggering dimensions meet unprecedented passenger volumes. These aircraft behemoths serve as colossal emblems of global interconnectedness from the United States to China, and the Middle East to Europe. Come with us as we learn about the amazing characteristics and worldwide impact of these airports.

The 10 biggest airports in the world, ranked by total area, are shown below.

10. Suvarnabhumi (BKK) Airport – 32. 4 km2

Suvarnabhumi airport, image from nationthailand - Biggest airport
Suvarnabhumi airport, image from nationthailand

Suvarnabhumi Airport, one of two airports serving Bangkok, is the most well-known of the two. Bangkok International Airport is one of the largest in Southeast Asia, spanning over 12.5 square miles. It’s the primary airport in the area. Bangkok Airways, Thai Smile Airways, Thai Vietjet Air, and Thai Airways International all use this airport as a major hub.

The airport of Suvarnabhumi serves as a hub for flights between Asia, Europe, Oceania, and Africa. Bangkok is now seeing a surge in visitors. That means that, even before the epidemic, the airport was used by more than 60 million people. In 2020, despite the epidemic, the airport was still among the busiest in the world. In that year, around 16 million people went through the airport’s checkpoints. The airport is named after what Google Translate translates as “Land of Gold” or “Golden Land.”

09. Cairo International Airport (CAI) – 36.25 km2.

Cairo Airport, Image by Abdulkarim Sarmini from Pixabay, Biggest airport
Cairo Airport, Image by Abdulkarim Sarmini

Heliopolis, Egypt’s Cairo International Airport terminal is an impressive building. The only airport on the African continent busier than Cairo International is Juba International. During World War II, it was used as a base by the United States Air Force until it was transformed into an international airport.

It is one of the busiest airports since Egypt Air and Nile Air utilize it as their primary hub. Cairo International Airport is one of the largest airports in the world, despite the fact that it is not among the busiest airports in terms of international passenger traffic. The airport features three terminals and three asphalt runways throughout its 3,700 acres of space.

08. Shanghai International Airport (PVG) – 39.88 km2

shanghai airport Photo by K Hsu on Unsplash, Biggest airport
Shanghai Airport Photo by K Hsu

Shanghai Pudong International Airport, with a land area of around 15.4 square miles, is the eighth-largest airport in the world. The airport, located about 30 kilometers (19 miles) east of the heart of Shanghai, is a significant hub for all of East Asia. Both China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines use this airport as their primary hub. In addition, both Air China and China Southern use Shanghai Pudong Airport as a primary hub for domestic and international flights.

China’s busiest international airport is located in Pudong, Shanghai. The airport was the fourteenth busiest in the world in 2020, with around 30 million passengers passing through its terminals each year. There were two airport terminals for travelers to use. In 2021, a brand-new terminal at Shanghai Airport opened, doubling the airport’s annual passenger capacity from 60 million to 80 million. The airport’s satellite terminal concourse is the largest in the world.

07. George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) – 40.46 km2

George Bush Intercontinental Airport, HOUSTON AIRPORT SYSTEM, biggest airport
George Bush Intercontinental Airport, HOUSTON AIRPORT SYSTEM

Houston’s airport is the seventh largest in the world, with a total land area of around 15.6 square miles. The airport is located about 23 miles north of Downtown Houston and serves the Greater Houston region. George Bush Intercontinental Airport is the state of Texas’s second-busiest airport. In 2020, around 18 million travelers used IAH Airport.

There are a total of 161 gates and 5 terminals (A-E) at this airport. All the terminals are linked by the Skyway and the Subway. The airport serves as a major hub for both United Airlines and Atlas Air. United Airlines operates its main passenger hub out of this airport. Before the epidemic, the airport saw almost 40 million yearly travelers. The airport, which had been known as Houston International Airport until 1997, was renamed in honor of the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush.

06. Beijing Daxing International Airport (PHX) – 47 km2

Beijing Daxing International Airport Photo by Howen on Unsplash, Biggest airport
Beijing Daxing International Airport Photo by Howen

Located on the border between Langfang and Beijing lies Beijing Daxing International Airport, the sixth biggest airport in the world. The airport, known as “the starfish” because of its shape, is 18 square miles in size. It’s the city’s second major airport.

The Beijing Capital International Airport is the first. The Beijing Daxing Airport is around 40 kilometers south of Beijing Capital International Airport and about 29 kilometers south of Tiananmen Square. SkyTeam and several Oneworld airlines use this airport as a significant hub. Daxing Airport’s terminal is the world’s largest, spanning over 7.5 million square feet.

05. Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) – 52.6 km2

Washington Dulles International Airport  Photo by Cyrus Crossan on Unsplash, Biggest Airport
Washington Dulles International Airport Photo by Cyrus Crossan

Dulles Airport is the fifth largest airport in the world and is officially known as Dulles International Airport (IAD). The area it occupies is about 20.3 square miles. About 26 miles west of downtown Washington, DC is where you’ll find Dulles International Airport. When traveling by plane between the Baltimore and Washington metropolitan areas, IAD Airport is your best bet.

Around 60,000 passengers use the airport every day, and it provides to-and-from services to more than 125 locations worldwide. Dulles International Airport is home to United’s main hub. Other major carriers such as Turkish carriers and Lufthansa also use this airport. The 139 gates of Dulles Airport are spread throughout a single terminal.

04. Orlando International Airport (MCO)- 46.98 km2.

Orlando International Airport formulanone from Huntsville, United States - 'Lando, Biggest airport
Orlando International Airport Photo by formulanone from Huntsville, United States

The Orlando International Airport may be found around six miles southwest of the city center. Orlando International Airport, often known as MCO, is the third-largest airport in the United States and the fourth-largest airport in the world, covering an area of 21 square miles. Orlando Airport is a major international hub serving the central Florida area, with more than 850 daily flights served by roughly 44 airlines.

Almost 135 domestic and international locations are accessible from Orlando International Airport. Terminals A and B combine for a total of 129 gates at the airport. Silver Airways uses Orlando Airport as a major hub, and other airlines including Southwest, Spirit, and JetBlue also use it as a home base. Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines both increased their service at Orlando International Airport. This might lead to a dramatic rise in passenger volume.

03. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)- 69.63 km2

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport photo by Todd MacDonald, biggest airport
Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Photo by Todd MacDonald

The third-largest airport in the world, Dallas International Airport covers an area of about 27 square miles. In any case, Dallas Airport is much bigger than the island of Manhattan. This airport is located in the middle of the distance between Dallas and Fort Worth. DFW Airport is home to the major hub for American Airlines.

In addition, there are flights to over 273 other locations in 44 different countries that depart from this airport. In 2020, the airport was the fourth busiest in the world, with an annual average of around 39 million people. There are 184 gates at Dallas Airport’s five terminals (A-E). There is talk of a massive $139 million increase to the existing budget. Terminal C will be completely renovated, while Terminals A and B will each get one additional gate.

02. Denver International Airport (DEN) – 135.71 km2

Denver airport By Bmurphy380 - Own work, Biggest Airport
Denver Airport Photo By Bmurphy380

The airport in Denver, Colorado, is the largest in the United States and the second largest in the world. The airport covers around 52.4 square miles. About 25 miles outside of Denver is where you’ll find Denver International Airport. Before the outbreak, the airport usually served roughly 60 million passengers per year. In addition, in 2020, the airport anticipates serving 33 million passengers across its various terminals.

As a consequence, DIA has risen to the ranks of the world’s eighth-busiest airport. In addition to being a major hub for Southwest Airlines, DIA is also an important location for Frontier Airlines and United Airlines. It serves over 200 destinations, making it the fourth US airport to do so. There are presently two airport expansion projects underway. Current construction on the Great Hall and additional gates will enhance the current terminal. The capacity of the airport gates will also be increased. There are 146 gates at the Jeppesen Terminal at Denver International Airport.

01. King Fahd International Airport (DMM) – 776 km2

King Fahd Airport by DACO. DAMMAM AIRPORTS COMPANY, biggest airport

The concept of airports may be traced back to King Fahd International Airport in Saudi Arabia. When compared to Saudi Arabia’s Dammam International Airport’s massive 77,600 hectares, the other airports on this list seem like backyards. It’s ridiculous that the airport covers more land area than the whole country of Bahrain.

In reality, just 37 square kilometers of land are put to use by the airport. Less than 10%, to be exact. The airport is 22 meters above ground. A more precise evaluation of the airport’s size would have resulted in a lower position on this list. The number of travelers that use it each year is barely above 10 million, making it the airport with the lowest passenger volume. This may lead one to conclude that the busiest airport is also the least efficient.

As we wrap up our tour of the world’s largest airports, one thing is becoming crystal clear: these aviation behemoths are more than just transportation hubs; they are emblems of human accomplishment and our collective yearning to connect with the globe. These airports, from their crowded terminals to their huge runways, are architectural marvels that display the incredible engineering that makes international travel so simple. Airports like this have a lasting impact on the industry because of their size, traffic volume, and global prominence. So the next time you’re at a major airport, stop and think about the technical feats that make it possible for us to traverse the globe with relative ease.


I am Muhammad, a Computer Science student with a passion for sharing captivating facts. Join me as we explore the top 10 facts about everything, from science and history to technology and culture. Let's embark on a journey of discovery together!"

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