What is the biggest airport in the world, or which are the largest airports in the world? Read more to know some interesting and unique facts about the world’s largest airports.
Flying out of the world’s biggest airports is impressive in more ways than one. Not only do you get bragging rights, but it’s also usually more convenient. The biggest airports in the world have greater facilities that make your travel comfortable. Additionally, you’ll have larger parking areas and more (meaning shorter) lines for check-in and security. Most of these airports also feature enormous terminals, lounges, and plenty of other things to do. As air traffic is on the upswing again, some of these biggest airports are upgrading facilities to encourage even more people to travel. Here’s all the info you need to know about the largest airports in the world.
What is the biggest airport in the world?
King Fahd International Airport (DMM), Saudi Arabia –With a surface area of around 300 sq miles, King Fahd International Airport (DMM) is the largest airport in the world. The airport is located in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, and sprawls over 192,000 acres of land!
King Fahd International Airport
You can locate the biggest airport in the world, around 19 miles northwest of downtown Dammam. Despite being the largest airport in the world by area, King Fahd International Airport (KFIA) is only the third busiest airport in Saudi Arabia. This is because the airport was a former US airbase during Gulf War. KFIA started commercial operations in 1999 and can handle around 12 million passengers. Currently, KFIA serves as a major hub for Saudia, SaudiGulf Airlines, and Flynas, with 37 airlines operating in and out of the airport. Here’s another interesting fact about King Fahd Airport. Even though Dammam Airport is almost the size of NYC, it doesn’t feature among the 50 busiest airports in the world! More about the airport’s size – The airport covers 192,000 acres. Also, the six-storeyed main terminal building is spread across a 3,520,000 sq ft. area.
Some interesting facts about the largest airport in the world
- The airport got its name from Fahd ibn Abdulaziz, the former King of Saudi Arabia.
- King Fahd Airport has a 177,000 sq ft. exclusive royal terminal. The royal family, VIPs, top government, and foreign officials are the only people who can use this terminal.
- The airport was the first among Saudi Airports to open duty-free stores.
- KFIA also consists of a residential community accommodating around 3,000 people.
- Further, the airport features a beautiful mosque (around 497,000 sq ft) constructed on the car park roof. The mosque can accommodate around 2,000 worshippers.
Denver International Airport
Denver International Airport is the biggest airport in the U.S. and the second biggest airport in the world. The airport has a surface area of around 52.4 sq miles. Denver Airport is located around 25 miles from the city center. The airport had annual passenger traffic of around 60 million before the pandemic. Moreover, around 33 million passengers will use the airport’s terminals in 2020. This resulted in DIA becoming the eighth busiest airport globally. Also, DIA serves as a hub for Frontier Airlines, United Airlines, and a base for Southwest Airlines. It is the fourth US airport to operate flights to more than 200 destinations. The airport is currently undergoing two expansion projects. The ongoing Great Hall and the gate expansion projects will improve the existing terminal. It will also upgrade the airport gates’ capacity. Denver Airport features the Jeppesen Terminal, with three concourses and 146 gates.
If these changes don’t help with Denver Airport parking woes, there’s always offsite DEN parking!
Fun facts about the second largest airport in the world
- Despite being one of the biggest airports in the world, Denver Airport shot into global fame owing to the various conspiracy theories surrounding it. One major conspiracy theory is that the New World Order (NWO) controls the airport. The airport features the longest runway in North America. However, the Swastika shape of the runway makes it peculiar! Meanwhile, the 32-foot tall Blue Mustang statue nicknamed ‘Blucifer’ is believed to be haunted. Another major theory is that the airport was constructed on a burial ground.
- The airport features four onsite parking lots spread over 30 acres.
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Covering an area of around 27 sq miles, Dallas International airport is the third largest airport in the world. Regardless, Dallas Airport is larger than Manhattan island. You can locate this airport roughly midway between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth. American Airlines has its largest hub at DFW airport. Also, the airport operates flight services to around 273 destinations across 44 countries. With around 39 million passengers using its terminals annually, the airport was the fourth busiest airport in 2020. Dallas Airport features five terminals (A-E) and has 184 gates. A whopping $139 million budget expansion is in the pipeline. Airport officials are planning to add nine gates to Terminals A-C and also totally renovate Terminal C.
What makes the third largest airport in the world interesting?
- Dallas Airport is also the fourth busiest airport globally in terms of aircraft movements.
- Around 95% of the domestic US Airports are within four hours of flying time from DFW.
- Atlantis space shuttle landed at this airport in May 1989. It was the first time that a space shuttle landed at a commercial airport.
Hot tip: The price to park at DFW International Airport has gone up, as has the cost of Uber and Lyft. To cut down on travel expenses, book offsite DFW parking before your trip.
Orlando International Airport
Orlando Airport is located around six miles southwest of Downtown Orlando. Sprawling across 21 square miles, Orlando or MCO Airport is the third-largest in the US and the fourth biggest airport in the world. With more than 850 daily flights operated via around 44 airlines, Orlando Airport is a pivotal international gateway for the mid-Florida region. MCO Airport serves nearly 135 domestic and international destinations. The airport has Terminals A and B, having a total of 129 gates. Orlando Airport is one of the main hubs for Silver Airways and also serves as an operating base for Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and JetBlue. Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines have expanded their flight operations in Orlando Airport. Consequently, passenger traffic may increase considerably.
Key facts about the fourth largest airport in the world
- The airport code MCO is derived from the airport’s former name McCoy Air Force Base.
- Orlando Airport is around 20 miles away from Walt Disney World Resort.
Orlando Travel Tip: If you plan to fly out of Orlando International Airport, you should expect to pay more for parking thanks to recent parking fee hikes. If you don’t want to pay too much, book MCO parking at offsite lots near the airport.
Washington Dulles International Airport
Commonly called Dulles International Airport (IAD) or Dulles, the airport is the fifth biggest airport in the world. It covers s a surface area of 20.3 sq miles. Dulles Airport is located around 26 miles west of Downtown Washington DC. IAD Airport is a major air hub for the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area. The airport has to and from services to more than 125 destinations worldwide and witnesses daily passenger traffic of around 60,000. United Airlines has its hub at Dulles Airport. Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa are the other major airlines that operate from this major airport. Dulles Airport has a single terminal featuring 139 gates.
Some quick facts
- Washington Dulles International Airport was the first US airport designed to accommodate commercial jets.
- The airport features many art and photography exhibits. It occasionally offers live music and dance performances too.
- The airport got its name from John Foster Dulles, who served as the US Secretary of State from 1953-1959.
Dulles travel tip: Finding parking at Dulles Airport has always been a bit of a challenge. You might find cheaper options if you pre-book IAD parking online.
Beijing Daxing International Airport
Beijing Daxing International Airport, the sixth largest airport in the world, is located on the border of Langfang and Beijing. Nicknamed ‘the starfish,’ the airport covers a surface area of 18 sq miles. It is Beijing’s 2nd international airport. The first, of course, is the Beijing Capital International Airport. Beijing Daxing Airport is located around 29 miles south of Tiananmen Square and around 40 miles south of Beijing Capital International Airport. The airport is a major hub for SkyTeam alliance airlines and a few Oneworld members. With around 7.5 million sq feet, Daxing airport has the greatest square footage of any airport terminal in the world.
- The area of the airport terminal is equivalent to that of 130 football stadiums.
- With the help of ‘starfish’ architecture, the airport is expected to become the busiest airport by 2040.
George Bush Intercontinental Airport
This international airport in Houston is the seventh biggest airport in the world, occupying a surface area of around 15.6 sq miles. Serving the Greater Houston area, the airport is situated around 23 miles north of Downtown Houston. George Bush Intercontinental Airport is the second busiest airport in Texas. IAH Airport served around 18 million passengers in 2020. The airport features five terminals (A-E) and has 161 gates. The Skyway and Subway connect all the terminals. United Airlines and Atlas Air have their hub at the airport. The airport also serves as the largest passenger hub for United Airlines. Around 40 million passengers used the airport’s terminals annually before the pandemic. Originally named Houston International Airport, the airport was renamed in 1997 after George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the USA.
IAH entertains you!
- There are several artworks displayed at the terminals. ‘Lights Spikes,’ created for the 1990 G7 Summit, can be seen outside Terminal E.
- IAH Airport also hosts weekday live concerts featuring pop, jazz, classical, and international music.
- Besides these, the airport has a yoga studio for passengers at Terminal A.
Travel tip: IAH often runs out of terminal parking spots. To avoid last-minute hassles, pre-book offsite IAH parking as soon as your travel plans are finalized.
Shanghai Pudong International Airport
Cairo International Airport
Cairo Airport covers an area of 14 sq miles. This airport is the ninth-largest airport in the world and the busiest in Egypt! Cairo International Airport is located northeast of Cairo, around 9.3 miles from the city’s business area. EgyptAir and Nile Air have their primary hub at this airport. Cairo Airport features three terminals (1-3) and a seasonal flight terminal that you can locate on the west of Terminal 3. Cairo Airport is the second busiest in Africa after OR Tambo International Airport, South Africa. Shuttle buses and a mini metro connect all the terminals.
- Cairo airport is not only one of the biggest airports in the world, but it’s also the end busiest in Africa.
- It was originally a US Airforce Base during WW2
More familiar as the Bangkok Airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport is one of the two airports that serve Bangkok. Sprawling over 12.5 sq miles, Bangkok Airport is also one of the biggest in Southeast Asia. It serves as an aviation hub for the region. The airport operates as a main hub for Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways, Thai Smile Airways, and Thai Vietjet Air. Suvarnabhumi Airport is also a regional gateway and a connection/transfer point for flights connecting Asia, Europe, Oceania, and Africa. Bangkok is one of the hottest tourist destinations. Thus, the airport has served more than 60 million passengers pre-pandemic! Despite the pandemic, the airport still remained one of the world’s busiest airports in 2020. Approximately 16 million passengers used the airport’s terminals that year.
- The airport’s only terminal covers an area of over six million sq feet!
- Suvarnabhumi Airport has more than 350 check-in counters, 100 elevators, 22 luggage conveyors, and 26 customs control desks.
More info on the largest airports in the world
- King Fahd International Airport, Saudi Arabia, is the largest airport in the world.
- Denver International Airport is the second biggest airport in the world.
- Five of the ten largest airports in the world are in the US.
- The world’s biggest airports aren’t necessarily the world’s busiest airports.
- Denver International Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport have plans to expand and improve the passenger experience.
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