Airports are the gateways to the world, connecting people and businesses to different parts of the globe. They play a crucial role in the global economy, as they facilitate trade and tourism, and create jobs for local communities. Airports also serve as important hubs for transportation, with many airports offering flights to different destinations, as well as ground transportation options such as buses, trains, and rental cars.
Determining the biggest airport in the world can be a subjective task, as it depends on the criteria used to measure the “biggest.” It could be based on the number of passengers handled, the total land area, or the number of runways and terminals. In this blog post, we’ll look at the top contenders for the title of the biggest airport in the world based on a combination of these criteria.
The current holder of the title is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the United States, but a new challenger has emerged in the form of Beijing Daxing International Airport in China. We’ll also take a look at other notable contenders such as Istanbul New Airport in Turkey, Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, and Tokyo Haneda Airport in Japan.
The current holder of the title: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest airport in the world, handling over 107 million passengers in 2019. It has two terminals and six concourses, with a total of 207 gates. The airport also has five runways and covers an area of 4,700 acres.
The airport was originally known as Atlanta Municipal Airport when it opened in 1926, but it was renamed Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport in honor of former Atlanta mayor William B. Hartsfield in 1971. In 2003, the airport was renamed again to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to honor the late Maynard Jackson, who served as the city’s first African American mayor.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport offers a wide range of amenities for passengers, including a variety of dining and shopping options, as well as lounges, free Wi-Fi, and art exhibits. The airport also has a range of services for travelers, including baggage storage, currency exchange, and a pet relief area.
The airport is a significant economic driver for the city of Atlanta, generating an estimated $32.5 billion in economic activity and supporting more than 300,000 jobs. The airport is also a major transportation hub, with non-stop flights to destinations around the world, as well as connections to the city’s rail and bus systems.
The challenger: Beijing Daxing International Airport
Beijing Daxing International Airport is a brand new airport that opened in September 2019, with a total area of about 100 square kilometers and a total of four runways. It is designed to handle up to 100 million passengers per year and is expected to relieve pressure on the already crowded Beijing Capital International Airport.
The airport was first proposed in 2008 and construction began in 2014. It is located on the border of Beijing and Langfang and is designed to serve as a hub for both domestic and international flights.
Beijing Daxing International Airport offers a range of modern amenities for passengers, including free Wi-Fi, a variety of dining and shopping options, and a range of services such as baggage storage and currency exchange. The airport also features advanced technology, such as facial recognition for security checks and automated baggage handling systems Beijing Daxing International Airport is expected to have a significant impact on the local economy and transportation in Beijing. It is expected to generate economic activity and create jobs in the surrounding areas, and will also serve as a major transportation hub for both domestic and international flights. Additionally, the airport is designed to be easily accessible by public transportation, with plans for a high-speed rail link to connect it to the city center.
Other notable contenders
Istanbul New Airport:
Istanbul New Airport is a brand new airport that opened in April 2019, with a total area of 76.5 square kilometers and a total of six runways. It is designed to handle up to 200 million passengers per year and will serve as a major transportation hub for the region.
Al Maktoum International Airport:
Al Maktoum International Airport is located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and is currently the world’s largest airport with a total area of 78 square kilometers. It opened in 2010 and currently has one terminal and one runway, but expansion plans include five terminals and five runways, which will make it capable of handling up to 160 million passengers per year.
Tokyo Haneda Airport:
Tokyo Haneda Airport is located in Japan and is the fourth busiest airport in the world, handling over 85 million passengers in 2019. It has two terminals and four runways and offers a wide range of amenities for passengers, including free Wi-Fi and a variety of dining and shopping options.
Charles de Gaulle Airport:
Charles de Gaulle Airport is located in France and is the second busiest airport in Europe, handling over 69 million passengers in 2019. It has three terminals and four runways and is a major transportation hub for flights to destinations in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
London Heathrow Airport:
London Heathrow Airport is the third busiest airport in the world, handling over 80 million passengers in 2019. It has four terminals and two runways and serves as a major transportation hub for flights to destinations in Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Los Angeles International Airport:
Los Angeles International Airport is the fifth busiest airport in the world, handling over 87 million passengers in 2019. It has nine terminals and four runways and serves as a major transportation hub for flights to destinations in North America, South America, Asia, and Oceania.
The future of airport expansion and development
The future of airport development is expected to be heavily influenced by advancements in technology. This includes the use of automation, such as self-service check-in kiosks and baggage drop-off, as well as the use of biometrics for security and boarding processes. Additionally, there will be an increased focus on sustainable infrastructure, such as the use of renewable energy sources and energy-efficient buildings.
As awareness of the impact of air travel on the environment grows, airports will have to consider ways to reduce their environmental footprint. This may include investing in more fuel-efficient aircraft, implementing recycling and waste reduction programs, and investing in sustainable infrastructure.
As airports continue to expand and improve, they will play an increasingly important role in shaping the future of air travel and tourism. This includes providing more convenient and efficient travel experiences for passengers, as well as fostering economic growth by attracting more tourism and investment to the areas surrounding the airports. Additionally, improvements in technology and infrastructure will make air travel more accessible and affordable, opening up new travel opportunities for people around the world.
Many existing airports around the world have plans for expansion and modernization to meet the growing demand for air travel. This includes constructing new terminals, runways, and taxiways and upgrading existing facilities. Some airports also have plans to develop new transportation links, such as high-speed rail or metro lines, to improve accessibility for passengers.
We’ve taken a look at some of the top contenders for the title of the biggest airport in the world, including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Beijing Daxing International Airport, Istanbul New Airport, Al Maktoum International Airport, and Tokyo Haneda Airport, Charles de Gaulle Airport, London Heathrow Airport, Los Angeles International Airport.
These airports are not just important transportation hubs, but also play a significant role in the local and global economy, creating jobs and driving economic growth. They also have a major impact on the future of air travel and tourism, shaping the way people travel and experience the world.
The future of airport development is expected to be heavily influenced by advancements in technology and a focus on sustainability. Airports will continue to expand and improve to meet the growing demand for air travel and will play an increasingly important role in shaping the way we travel and experience the world.
Bonus: The impact of COVID-19 on airport expansion and development
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the global aviation industry, leading to a decline in air travel and putting pressure on airports to adapt. This has led to delays or cancellations of expansion plans, and a shift in focus toward recovery and resilience in the short term.
Bonus: The future of airport security and safety
The future of airport security and safety will likely involve the increased use of technology, such as biometrics and artificial intelligence, to improve screening processes and detect potential threats. Additionally, airports will likely continue to implement new security measures in response to evolving threats.