Top 5 Largest and Busiest Airports in the World
Biggest, Busiest Airports in the World
All of the airports mentioned in this article are marvels of engineering. Without these airports, the world would not be the same today, as they are responsible for a significant portion of the transportation of cargo. It is likely that your mail or package went trough one of these facilities. These airports help lift local economies and sustain employment for thousands of people around the world.
Next time you travel trough one of the busiest airports in the world, stop to think for a second about how large and impressive the airport's operations are. It is simply amazing how these airports solve enormous logistical challenges while getting you and your baggage where you're going in a timely and efficient manner.
This is a list of the biggest/busiest airports in the world, ranked by the total number of passengers that have departed or arrived through the airport in one year.
O'Hare Airport on the Map
#5 Chicago O'Hare International Airport
O'Hare International Airport is located in northwestern Chicago, IL and it's one of the world's most popular airports. In 2013, 66,883,271 passengers passed through O'Hare International, making it the fifth busiest airport in the world.
O'Hare has been a very important strategic partner for several of the biggest airlines in the USA. It is the home of the second-to-largest United Airlines hub, and nearly 50% of all O'Hare International passengers travel with United. It has also partnered up with American Airlines; currently, O'Hare International is the second largest hub for American Airlines and it plays a huge role in AA's midwest business.
O'Hare International has always been considered one of the best airports in the USA, and it has won numerous awards for excellence from US travelers. With its great reputation and implacable service, O'Hare is one of the most recognized names in the airline business, and it continues to grow and build upon the already great image it has in the world of traveling.
Chicago's O'Hare Airport: Aerial View
#4 Tokyo International Airport--Haneda Airport
The Tokyo International Airport (also known as Haneda Airport) ranks as the fourth largest airport in the world. In 2013 there were 68,906,636 people that passed through Haneda Airport. It continues to see growth in passenger traffic and continuously expands to accommodate that growth.
The Tokyo International Airport used to handle mostly domestic airline traffic. However, the Japanese transportation authority recently opened an international terminal which has increased passenger numbers tremendously. As it stands today, Haneda Airport is able to handle more than 90,000,000 passengers per year; however that number will certainly grow quickly as the airport is still looking to acquire contracts with more international airline companies.
Haneda Airport is the hub for Japan's two biggest airlines--Japan Airlines and Nippon Airways--as well as various low-cost airlines. Tokyo International Airport is a top notch, world class airport, and it is widely recognized as one of the most punctual airports in the world.
Haneda Airline (Tokyo International) on the Map
Aerial View of Tokyo International (Haneda) Airport
#3 London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport is one of the most popular airports, and it is the busiest airport in the United Kingdom. Heathrow ranks 3rd busiest in the world with an impressive 72,368,630 passengers last year and ranks #1 for the highest annual amount of international passengers.
Heathrow Airport is the hub for one of the world's largest and most influential airlines, British Airways. The future looks bright for Heathrow, as there are plans for even further expansion by adding a third runway near the north end of the airport which will significantly increase the amount of passengers that can travel trough Heathrow. Also, there are other proposed features including a much-needed rail link between Heathrow and Gatwick Airport (the other large airport near the city of London).
London Heathrow Airport on the Map
Aerial View of London Heathrow Airport
#2 Beijing Capital International Airport
Beijing Capital International Airport is the largest/busiest airport in Asia and ranks at the number two spot worldwide in that category, with 83,712,355 passengers in 2013.
It is the hub airport for several large airlines including Air China, China Southern Airlines, and Hainan Airlines. The Beijing Capital International Airport has been expanding tremendously for the past decade and has increased its passenger throughput by 4.1% just in the past year.
With the Chinese economy booming and Beijing becoming one of the world's top business centers, Beijing Capital International Airport will continue to grow and meet the demand for outstanding world class airport services.
Aerial View of Beijing Capital International Airport
Beijing Capital Airport on the Map
#1 Largest Airport in the World: Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Georgia, USA is the world's most busy airport, and it has earned that title with a whopping 94,430,785 passengers last year. Chances are that you or someone you know has passed through Hartsfield–Jackson, as it is the largest connections hub in North America.
Hartsfield–Jackson is the hub airport for Delta Airlines, AirTran Airways, and several smaller airlines. Delta Airlines represents a huge part of Hartsfield–Jackson's business as it flies nearly 60% of all ATL passengers.
This airport is the epitome of world class, as it has held the number one spot for over a decade now. The people of Atlanta should be very proud of their airport, as it is considered a model for airports around the world including some of the largest like Heathrow and Beijing Capital International Airport.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport on the Map
Aerial View of Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Busiest Airports at a Glance
Total Passengers in 2013
Atlanta, GA (USA)
Chicago, IL (USA)
Airports Around the World Getting Bigger
The airport industry has evolved tremendously over the past decade, getting bigger and busier every day as airline companies transport as many passengers as possible for the highest profit possible. For the past few years, the industry has been struggling (just like any other industry, considering the global economic recession in the late 2000s) and as a result, people have started finding alternate ways of transportation or even stopped traveling in general. However in the past two to three years, the industry has seen growth and people are starting to depend on airlines to get them places once again.
Airports will certainly grow bigger as a result. A major piece of the airline business is the airports, which are closely tied to the success of the various airlines. Airports have become an industry of their own, as millions upon millions of people pass through each and every month of the year. Often airports are crucial for economic development, national security, and local economies, as airports employ hundreds (in some cases thousands) of local people. As airports continue to strive to capitalize on the millions of potential customers passing through, they continuously expand to meet the demand of their customers.