Air is the safest, fastest, and most efficient transportation means. According to Statista, airlines and airports are increasingly becoming busier, with the number of flights globally reaching 38.9 million in 2019 from 25.9 million in 2009.
When ranked by passenger traffic (the number of people using the airport in a given period), here are the world's 10 busiest airports by passenger traffic:
- Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport - 110,531,300
- Beijing Capital International Airport - 100,011,438
- Los Angeles International Airport - 88,068,013
- Dubai International Airport - 86,396,757
- Tokyo Haneda Airport - 85,505,054
- O'Hare International Airport - 84,372,618
- Heathrow Airport - 80,888,305
- Shanghai Pudong International Airport - 76,153,455
- Charles de Gaulle Airport - 76,150,009
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport - 75,066,956
1. Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, United States
Atlanta Airport was the world’s busiest airport every year between 1998 and 2019, serving over 110 million passengers in 2019. It is located 11 kilometers south of Atlanta and is the city’s main international airport. ATL occupies 19.2 square kilometers and has five runways. It is Delta Air Lines’ primary hub. Delta hub is the world’s largest airline hub, with over 1,000 daily flights to 225 destinations. Also, ATL has international services on all continents. The airport is also an international gateway to the US, ranking 7th by international passenger traffic.
2. Beijing Capital International Airport, China
Beijing Capital International Airport is located 32 kilometers away from Beijing. It is Asia’s busiest airport by passenger traffic and has been the world’s 2nd busiest since 2010. In 2012, it registered over 557,000 aircraft movement, the world’s 6th highest. In 2019, Beijing Capital served about 100 million passengers. Beijing is China’s capital and the second-most populous city after Shanghai. It also connects China to the rest of the world.
3. Los Angeles International Airport, United States
LAX primarily serves Los Angeles and the surrounding region. Los Angeles is the US’s second-most populous city and North America’s third, with over 4 million people. The international airport is located 30 kilometers southwest of the CBD, specifically in the Westchester neighborhood. In 2019, LAX served 88.1 million passengers. It is a major entry point into the US and a connection point to various destinations globally. The airport occupies 14 square kilometers and has four runways.
4. Dubai International Airport, United Arab Emirates
DXB primarily serves Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. It is the world’s 4th busiest airport by passenger traffic and ranks top by international passenger traffic. In 2019, the airport handled 86.4 million passengers. DXB is located in the Al Garhoud District, about 4.5 kilometers east of Dubai, and occupies 29 square kilometers of land. It is a hub for the Emirates Airline, Middle East’s largest airline hub. In 2018, about 68% of the passengers who used the airport were connecting to other destinations. Dubai is also a major tourist and shopping destination, as well as expatriates.
5. Tokyo Haneda Airport, Japan
Haneda Airport is one of two primary international airports serving the Greater Tokyo Area. It is home to All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines, as well as other international airlines. HDN is located some 15 kilometers away from Tokyo Station, in Ota. In 2019, it served over 85.5 million passengers, making it the world’s 5th busiest airport by passenger traffic. The airport handles almost all domestic flights from and to Tokyo and offers nonstop services to 17 countries. Tokyo is the world’s most populous city.
6. O'Hare International Airport, United States
O’Hara is located 23 kilometers west of Downtown Chicago and covers 30.87 square kilometers. It is the US's 3rd busiest airport, serving 84.4 million passengers in 2019. As of 2018, the airport had 228 nonstop flights to all the continents, including Oceania. In 2019, it served 919,704 aircraft, an average of 2,520 daily. O’Hare is a major hub for American Airlines and United Airlines. The jet airliners played a key role in driving traffic to O’Hare.
7. Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom
Heathrow Airport is Europe’s busiest airport by passenger traffic. It is the world’s 2nd busiest airport by international passenger traffic. In 2019, Heathrow Airport served about 80 million passengers and recorded over 475,000 aircraft movement. It serves the London region, one of the world’s most populous regions. Heathrow is located 23 kilometers west of Central London and is British Airway’s primary hub.
8. Shanghai Pudong International Airport, China
Pudong Airport is the world’s 8th largest airport by both land size and passenger traffic. It occupies 39.9 square kilometers. It served 76.1 million passengers in 2019 and is East Asia’s major aviation hub, serving primarily international flights to and from the region. It serves as a major hub for Shanghai Airlines and China Eastern Airlines, as well as China Southern Airlines’ secondary hub. It is also mainland China’s international gateway.
9. Charles de Gaulle Airport, France
Charles de Gaulle Airport is France’s largest international airport, located within Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-d’Oise, and Seine-et-Marne. It is Air France’s primary hub and a destination for major carriers such as Sky Team and Star Alliance. In 2019, the airport served about 76 million passengers and facilitated the movement of around 498,175 aircraft. The airport’s high traffic is mainly because of the numerous direct flights it offers to most countries.
10. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, United States
DFW Airport is the world’s 4th biggest airport by area, 3rd busiest by aircraft movement, and 10th by passenger traffic. In 2019, it served 75 million passengers, setting a new record in its history. It is American Airlines’ principal hub, world’s second-largest airline hub after Delta hub. DFW Airport is one of the largest international gateways to the US, servicing 260 destinations, including 193 domestic and 67 international destinations. The airport is located in Fort Worth and Dallas and spans over 69.63 square kilometers.
The US is Home To 4 Of The Busiest Airports
The US is home to four of the ten world’s busiest airports by passenger traffic, including Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The country has the highest number of airline users. In 2019, the US-registered over 926 million flight passengers. On average, 2.5 million people fly into, out of, or within the US. It also has the largest aircraft fleet, with about 6,703 fleets of aircraft.