As busy as airports are, they will get only more crowded in the future. COVID-19 pandemic reduced the number of passengers, but other than that, according to Airports Council International, the busiest airports have remained the same for several years. The increasing demand has been reported out of China. Some of the airports in China grew at a fantastic pace of 5.4 to 5.7 percent.
One of the reasons why the demand is growing at such a fast pace is that China is home to a large number of the middle class. India also has a vast population; Indira Gandhi is sitting at the twelfth position with almost 70 million passengers every year. This is a list of the world’s top ten busiest airports.
10. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
This airport is named after the former French general and president. CDG holds the tenth position with 72.2 million passengers. CDG was completed in 1974, and it has developed a lot since then; it now holds the title of Europe’s second busiest airport. Terminal one is very famous for its unique rotunda design. CDG is an important European hub for Delta Air Lines and the principal hub to Air France.
9. Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG)
PVG is one of the two busiest airports in the world that belong to China. PVG mainly focuses on international flights, and the other busiest airport focuses more on domestic flights. PVG is the number two airport when we talk about international air freight traffic. It was reported in 2018 that almost 3 million metric tons of freight were loaded and unloaded. PVG is a fast-growing airport with an increased capacity of 5.7 percent every year.
8. Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)
In 2018, Hong Kong International Airport was reported to be the largest air cargo center in the world. It handled more cargo than PVG by 2 million metric tons. The airport was growing at a pace of 2.6 percent from 2017 to 2018, but in 2019, there were several protests in Hong which affected the airports’ growth. Demonstrations took place even at the airport. Almost 74.5 million passengers go through HKG every year.
7. London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
London Heathrow Airport has 80.1 million passengers every year. LHR has been the busiest airport when we talk about international passenger traffic. It has flights with 185 destinations in 84 countries. LHR records a high number of foreign travelers. An exciting fact to know about this airport is that it has six terminals, but only five are open to the public. The sixth one is very small and is used solely for royals, celebrities, and states’ heads.
6. O’ Hare International Airport (ORD)
O’ Hare International Airport might not be the busiest airport in the number of passengers, but it is the busiest one for the number of takeoffs and landings. O’ Hare International Airport has 83.4 million passengers every year. It has grown rapidly since the opening in 1955. It serves almost forty different airlines, and it also provides flights to nearly 60 international destinations.
5. Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND)
Tokyo Haneda Airport is also known as Tokyo International. Tokyo Haneda is the second busiest airport in Asia, and it handles more than 90 million passengers every year. The Japanese government has further increased its capacity because Japan won the bid for the 2020 summer Olympics. Tokyo Haneda Airport would have been in the fourth position, but only 400,000 travelers took it over. It has almost 87.1 million passengers every year.
4. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Los Angeles International Airport is the busiest destination and origin airport. It means that Los Angeles International Airport is the airport where most people end and begin their journey concerning other airports. People end their trips at LAX rather than using it as a connection. This airport also has a members-only club. It costs $4,500 per year and a minimum of $2,700 per flight. The members also get to enjoy several other luxuries like a separate VIP terminal. Almost 87.5 million passengers land and take off from LAX per year.
3. Dubai International airport (DXB)
With almost 89.1 million passengers every year, Dubai International airport is the busiest airport globally in terms of international passengers. Terminal 3 was constructed in 2008, and it became the world’s largest building. DXB held this honor for five years. Dubai Duty-Free is the most successful airport retailer, and it generates billions of dollars every year. Dubai has many tourist spots that attract people from all around the world; this is one of the reasons why it is always so busy.
2. Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK)
Asia’s busiest and the first airport to hit the one million passengers per year mark in this list is Beijing Capital International Airport. Beijing Capital International Airport added terminal 3, and it is one of the world’s biggest building. It was added considering the 2008 Summer Olympics. Air China flies out of Beijing to almost 120 destinations; PEK acts as the central hub for Air China. The second busiest airport has a growth rate of 5.4 percent. Nearly 101 million passengers use Beijing Capital International Airport every year, and the number will only increase in the coming years.
1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International was opened in September 1980. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International has been the world’s busiest airport since then. Almost 107.4 million passengers go through this airport every year. Even though it is the most active, most of the flights are domestic, and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International is not even the top twenty busiest airports when it comes to international passenger traffic. The location plays a significant role in passenger traffic. It is located at almost 2 hours from 80 percent of the US population.
The numbers are subjected to change; however, these are the busiest airports currently. The rankings remained the same in the previous two years, but there is a high possibility of some changes in the future.