The Busiest Airports In China

A plane arriving at Beijing Capital International Airport.
A plane arriving at Beijing Capital International Airport.

Although the US remains as the largest market for air travel in the world, China has grown exponentially in less than two decades. China’s population and the growing middle-class have increased the number of passengers using airline services. China has about 200 airports, and with the increasing demands for air travel and constraints placed on the airport, the country is expected to increase the airports to 240 by 2020. Airports in China are some of the busiest in the world. The top ten busiest airports in the country served over 500 million domestic and international passengers. These are some of China’s busiest airports.

4. Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport - 49,801,693

Chengdu Shuangliu Airport serves the city of Chengdu. The airport is located 10 miles from downtown Chengdu. It is an important aviation hub for the western part of China and is one of the main hubs for Air China. The airport was initially opened as a military airfield in 1938 and was named Shuangguisi airport. It was put under civil aviation in December 1956 and renamed Chengdu Shuangliu Airport. The airport handled over 46 million passengers and 382,000 metric tons of cargo in 2016. It also registered over 320,000 flight movements during the year.

3. Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport - 65,806,977

The New Baiyun Airport in Guangzhou serves as a hub for several airlines including China Southern Airline, Hainan Airline, and 9 Air among other airlines. The airport was opened in August 2004 in place of the old airport which has since been closed. The new Baiyun Airport is almost five times larger than the old Baiyun Airport and is often called the “New Baiyun” to distinguish it from the old airport. The airport was the third busiest in China and 17th busiest in the world by passenger traffic in 2016. It served about 59.8 million passengers and 1.7 million metric tons of cargo in 2016.

2. Shanghai Pudong International Airport - 70,001,237

Pudong Airport is a main aviation hub in China. Located about 19 miles from Shanghai city center, Pudong Airport mainly serves international flights and is managed by the Shanghai Airport Authority. The airport is one of the fastest growing hubs for both passenger and cargo with the airport handling over 66 million passengers and cargos of about 3.4 million metric tons in 2016. It is the third busiest airport in the world by cargo traffic and the fifth busiest by passenger traffic in Asia. The airport also hosted over 100 airlines serving 210 destinations worldwide in 2016. Pudong Airport has two working passenger terminals and one under construction.

1. Beijing Capital International Airport - 95,786,296

Beijing Capital is the major airport serving the city of Beijing. The airport is 20 miles away from the city center in the Shunyi District. It was opened March 1958 when it only had a small terminal building which still exists today. Beijing Capital has three terminals with Terminal 1 serving the domestic air routes, Terminal 2 serving the China’s major airlines and terminal three serving both domestic and international airlines which do not use the first two terminals. Beijing Capital is currently the busiest airport in Asia by passenger traffic with over 94.3 million passengers using the airport in 2016. It also registered 606,000 flight movements in 2016.

The Busiest Airports In China

RankAirportPassenger Count (Annual)
1Beijing Capital International Airport95,786,296
2Shanghai Pudong International Airport70,001,237
3Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport65,806,977
4Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport49,801,693
5Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport45,610,651
6Kunming Changshui International Airport44,727,691
7Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport41,884,059
8Xi'an Xianyang International Airport41,857,229
9Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport38,715,210
10Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport35,570,411

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