Jason North

Member Article

7 Biggest Airports in the World

The world may indeed be getting smaller as we hop on planes to find ourselves in the remotest of destinations less than a day later. As we become accustomed to grabbing those amazing holiday deals and jetting off, airports are growing in size and passenger numbers to accommodate us.

It’s exciting to be part of the throng of expectant holidaymakers at the start of an adventure. However, if you have ever been late for a flight, you know the ordeal of navigating through a heaving mass of suitcase-laden travellers, while trying to find your departure gate. Not fun.

We’ve compiled a list of the 7 biggest airports in the world based on their passenger numbers, courtesy of the Airports Council International (ACI) January 2015 data.

1. Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International

Located 11km south of Atlanta, Georgia, you will not find a bigger or busier airport than this. In fact, it has been listed as the world’s busiest airport by passenger traffic since 1998. An incredible 7,288,267 passengers passed through this airport (up to January 2015) probably en route to other US destinations as it is the largest airport for connecting flights in the US.

2. Beijing Capital International Airport

Beijing Capital International Airport is the largest and busiest airport in Asia as well as holding the number 2 position in the world. It received a major revamp in 2008 for the Beijing Olympics and a booming Chinese economy means this airport is on an upward ascent. A modest 6,976,687 passengers made their way through Beijing International Airport from January 2014 to January 2015.

3. Dubai International Airport

From its humble beginnings in 1960, Dubai International Airport is now a huge international hub boasting more than 8,000 weekly flights, operated by more than 140 airlines in 270 destinations. In 2010, it opened Terminal 3 which is the second largest building in the world and is partially underground, shared by Emirates and Qantas. It recorded 6,895,668 passengers up to January 2015. Travellers use the airport not just for Dubai holidays, but also as a base for connection flights, with the wide network that Emirates airlines offers, its perfect for a long haul flight.

4. Tokyo International Airport—Haneda Airport

Tokyo International Airport or Haneda as it is more commonly known has only recently joined the ‘biggest’ list. Major development in 2010 added an international terminal and a fourth runway, used only at night-time. However, since 2014, it has expanded its long-haul business and now hosts flights to 25 cities in 17 countries carrying a total of 5,770,206 passengers that same year.

5. London Heathrow Airport

London Heathrow is not the largest airport on our list; however, it certainly is the busiest in the UK and one of the busiest in the world with 5,456,457 passengers up to January 2015.

6. Los Angeles International Airport

The first hangar at Los Angeles International Airport or LAX was built in 1929 and is still in use since its restoration in 1990. Roll on 86 years and LAX is the sixth busiest airport in the world with 5,439,089 passengers in 2015. The airport is undergoing a huge expansion programme to the tune of $4.11 billion which started in 2008 and was due to be completed by 2014 (but has missed that deadline). This expansion programme is the largest public works project in Los Angeles’ history.

7. Hong Kong International Airport

Located on the reclaimed island of Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong International Airport recorded passenger numbers of 5,211,000 in 2015. It opened in 1998 and replaced Kai Tak Airport. It lays claim to one of the largest terminals in the world; in fact, it was the largest when it opened in July 1998. In 2010, a second terminal was opened, followed by a shopping mall, golf course and coach station.

Have you visited any of these airports? Did they WOW you? Discuss in the comments box below.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Jason North .

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