10 Busiest Airports in the World

Check out the 10 busiest airports in the world with our interactive map.

Last Updated: 5 Mar 2018

The advent of airplanes made it possible for people to travel around the world with greater ease and flexibility. Travel by land and sea must overcome friction and barriers. Travel by air, however, is mostly unimpeded and smooth gliding (with the occasional turbulence) and much much faster. With each passing year, air travel has become cheaper and more convenient (although the convenience is arguable), and people take to the skies with ever increasing numbers. Connecting all their flights are the hubs of the sky, the airport. In this post, we'll introduce you to the world's 10 busiest airports in terms of passenger traffic.

Enjoy our content? Consider adding us to your adblocker's whitelist or sponsor us at Patreon.

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport

■ ■ ■
  • location: Atlanta, Georgia
  • country: United States
  • code: ATL/KATL
  • passengers: 104,171,935

Atlanta airport has been the world's busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic since 1998. Atlanta airport serves as the primary hub for the southeastern United States. In 2016, most of its one million flights were domestic flights. In terms of international passenger traffic, Atlanta airport placed just 7th in the United States (2016).

Beijing Capital International Airport

■ ■ ■
  • location: Chaoyang-Shunyi, Beijing
  • country: China
  • code: PEK/ZBAA
  • passengers: 94,393,454

Beijing Capital International Airport is the busiest airport in Asia and the second busiest in the world. But in 2002, the airport was only the 26th busiest airport in the world. But in the last 16 years, the airport has more than triple its passenger count. Although Beijing Capital International's passenger traffic has grown in leaps and strides, it is unlikely to overtake Atlanta International Airport as the world's busiest in the near future. That is because the airport is already near full capacity, and Beijing will soon open a second international airport called Beijing Daxing International Airport in 2019. On a side note, the IATA Airport code for Beijing Capital International is PEK, which is based on Beijing's old romanized name, Peking.

Dubai International Airport

■ ■ ■
  • location: Garhoud, Dubai
  • country: United Arab Emirates
  • code: DXB/OMDB
  • passengers: 83,654,250

Dubai International Airport isn't the busiest airport in the world but it holds a few records as of 2018. It serves the most international only passengers in the world, it's the busiest airport in the world operating with only two runways, and its Terminal 3 is the largest airport terminal in the world. The airport is a major component in the economy of Dubai. It employs over 90,000 people and contributes over $26 billion to the city's economy (which is around 27% of the total) in 2014.

Los Angeles International Airport

■ ■ ■
  • location: Los Angeles, California
  • country: United States
  • code: LAX/KLAX
  • passengers: 80,921,527

Los Angeles International Airport, or more commonly referred to as "LAX" with each letter pronounced, is the 2nd busiest airport in the United States. It holds the record for the busiest origin and destination airport, meaning more travellers begin or end their trips through LAX rather than use it as a connection to other hubs.

Enjoy our content? Consider adding us to your adblocker's whitelist or sponsor us at Patreon.

Tokyo Haneda International Airport

■ ■ ■
  • location: Ōta, Tokyo
  • country: Japan
  • code: HND/RJTT
  • passengers: 79,699,762

Tokyo Haneda International Airport serves mostly domestic passengers whereas its counterpart, Narita International Airport, handles most of Tokyo's international passenger traffic. Together, Haneda and Narita airports help form the third busiest airport system in the world.

O'Hare International Airport

■ ■ ■
  • location: Chicago, Illinois
  • country: United States
  • code: ORD/KORD
  • passengers: 78,327,479

From 1961 until 1998, O'Hare International was the busiest airport in the world. It reclaimed the title briefly in 2014, but lost it to Atlanta International a year later.

Heathrow Airport

■ ■ ■
  • location: Hillingdon, London
  • country: United Kingdom
  • code: LHR/EGLL
  • passengers: 75,715,474

London's Heathrow Airport has a special suite in the southernmost corner of Terminal 5 that was once reserved for royalty along with important politicians and diplomats. But beginning in 2011, the suite was opened to anyone who could afford it.

Hong Kong International Airport

■ ■ ■
  • location: Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong
  • country: China
  • code: HKG/VHHH
  • passengers: 70,314,462

Hong Kong International Airport is the 2nd busiest airport in China, but they may soon lose that title in 2018 or 2019 to Shanghai Pudong International Airport.

Enjoy our content? Consider adding us to your adblocker's whitelist or sponsor us at Patreon.

Shanghai Pudong International Airport

■ ■ ■
  • location: Pudong, Shanghai
  • country: China
  • code: PVG/ZSPD
  • passengers: 66,002,414

Shanghai Pudong International Airport's passenger traffic trails Beijing and Hong Kong, but it's the busiest international hub in China with more than half its passenger traffic travelling internationally. The airport is also poised to overtake Hong Kong International in passenger traffic in 2018 or 2019.

Charles de Gaulle Airport

■ ■ ■
  • location: Roissy-en-France, Île-de-France
  • country: France
  • code: CDG/LFPG
  • passengers: 65,933,145

The construction of the airport began in 1966 and was originally named Aéroport de Paris Nord (Paris North Airport). But upon the airport's opening in 1974, it was renamed Charles de Gaulle Airport in honor of Charles de Gaulle (1890- 1970) who had passed away four years earlier in 1970. He was the leader of Free France (1940 - 1944), founder of the French Fifth Republic (1958), and the president of France from 1959 to 1969.

Enjoy our content? Consider adding us to your adblocker's whitelist or sponsor us at Patreon.