How Big Is the Charlotte Airport? How Does It Compare to Other Airports?

CLT airport
© A-Z-Animals.com/AZ Animals

Written by Justin Sexton

Published: November 30, 2023

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Charlotte Douglas International Airport is the largest airport in the Charlotte Metropolitan Area. It is the largest airport in North Carolina. In 2019, it was ranked as the 11th busiest airport in the United States regarding passenger traffic. Charlotte Airport also ranked 5th in aircraft operations and 6th globally. The Charlotte Airport serves as the main airline hub for American Airlines. In 2021, Charlotte became the 6th busiest airport in the United States. Charlotte Douglas International Airport has four runways and 115 different gates. Some airlines they serve include Delta, American Airlines, Air Canada, United, Jetblue, Southwest, Spirit Airways, Volaris, Lufthansa, Contour, and American Eagle.

Busy central concourse at Charlotte Douglas International airport

Busy central concourse at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

©Mystic Stock Photography/Shutterstock.com

The airport was established in 1935. Its name refers to Ben Elbert Douglas Sr., the city mayor when the airport was first built. Charlotte Douglas International averages 1,600 arrivals and departures daily. It is a civil-military airport. That means it serves the military for several reasons. The United States Army Air Force established a base at the airport in 1941. It was renamed Morris Field a few years later after the Pearl Harbor attacks. So, the airport is the largest in North Carolina, but how big is the Charlotte Airport? Keep reading to find out.

How Big Is The Charlotte Airport?

Runway at Charlotte Douglas International Airporte, North Carolina, United States

Runway at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, North Carolina, United States

©ValerijaP/iStock via Getty Images

The Charlotte Airport, regarding land size, covers 5,558 acres. That’s approximately 8.5 miles of land that helps with aviation purposes. The airport started constructing another runway this year to help with peak air traffic. It started in June, and they plan to open the runway in 2027. Additional construction will expand the A, C, and E concourses. The additional concourse construction may cost 1.1 billion and will not be finished until 2023. Some concourses already had prior renovations. Concourse A is in phase 2, while Concourse E is in its 8th phase. The 8th phase of Concourse E plans to add 34,000 square feet of hold room. The airport will also have a light rail by 2030 to help transport people from the Charlotte area to the airport.

It looks like Charlotte will be an even bigger airport by 2030. However, how does the current size of the airport, 5,558 acres, compare to other airports in the United States?

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Airplanes in Los Angeles International airport LAX apron. California, USA

Airplanes in Los Angeles International Airport LAX apron. California, USA.

©Gabriele Maltinti/Shutterstock.com

The Los Angeles International Airport is in the southwestern part of Los Angeles. It’s very close to several beaches and helps the 7 million people in the city depart from the City of Angels daily. Charlotte Douglas International is larger than LAX by over a thousand acres. Charlotte has 5,558 acres, while Los Angeles covers 3,500 acres of land. Los Angeles International has plenty more airlines and traffic than Charlotte, but that’s because it’s in one of the most populated areas in America.

In 2019, LAX served over 88 million passengers. Some airlines at LAX include United Airlines, Delta Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Emirates, JetBlue Airlines, Air Canada, Air France, and American Airlines.

John F Kennedy Airport In Queens, NY

JFK is one of the main airports in the Big Apple. This airport helps the city that never sleeps with aviation traffic along with two other airports: Newark Liberty International Airport and LaGuardia International Airport. The three airports maintain regular communication to prevent excessive air traffic because of their proximity. John F Kennedy International Airport is slightly smaller than Charlotte Douglas International Airport as JFK covers 5,200 acres, and Charlotte covers 5,558 acres of land.

Since Newark and LaGuardia were mentioned earlier, let’s discuss their airport sizes. The LaGuardia International Airport covers 680 acres of land, while Newark Liberty International covers 2,027. A good idea of why these airports are smaller than Charlotte is due to how crowded the respective cities are. New York City, where LaGuardia is, has nine million people. People who can’t fly through LaGuardia or JFK go to Newark to avoid excessive foot traffic at the airport. Newark’s population of approximately 300,000 is smaller than Charlotte’s 800,000. The three airports, respectively, have many more airlines and terminals than Charlotte. Also, the three respective airports have more international destinations than Charlotte.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is much larger than the Charlotte Airport. The Dallas/Fort Worth Airport covers over 17,000 acres of land. That’s approximately 27 square miles of land. It is the largest airport hub for American Airlines. It has many other airline carriers, such as United, Air Canada, Volaris, Air France, British Airways, Frontier, VivaAerobus, Avianca, Sun Country Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and Delta Airlines.

Denver International Airport

Charlotte covers 5,558 acres of land and is larger than some of the major airlines in the United States. However, Charlotte covers a speck of land that Denver’s airport covers. The Denver International Airport covers over 33,000 square acres. That’s practically 54 square miles of land. It is well known that Denver is the largest airport in the Western Hemisphere and the second largest airport globally, only behind King Fahd International Airport in Saudi Arabia.

Denver is also one of the busiest airports, with an underground tunnel that takes passengers and employers to different concourses. It serves 25 different airlines and takes passengers to over 215 different destinations. It has a fantastic view of the Rocky Mountains. Not only does it have beautiful views of nature, but it also provides interesting artwork throughout the airport and has over 150 parlors, shops, and restaurants that people can visit.

Orlando International Airport (MCO)

Interior atrium of Orlando International Airport

Interior atrium of Orlando International Airport.

©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

The Orlando International Airport is another airport that’s much larger than Charlotte. This Florida airport covers over 11,000 acres of land and 20 square miles. Orlando is the 4th largest airport in the United States and the 7th busiest in the United States. It is an operations base for several airlines, such as United Airlines, Avelo, Southwest, JetBlue, American, and Alaska Airlines. Inside the airport is a Hyatt Hotel and an expansive lobby with many different shops and stores, especially a popular Universal Orlando Studios merchandise shop. The airport also provides many international destinations, such as Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean Islands, and a few European countries.

Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport In Atlanta, Georgia

Main Hall inside Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International

The main hall is inside Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

©ESB Professional/Shutterstock.com

The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is off Interstates 75 and 85 in Atlanta. Although this airport may look enormous, it covers 4,500 acres or 7 square miles compared to Charlotte’s airport, which covers 8.5 square miles and 5,559 acres. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport serves 23 different airline carriers, which include Air Canada, America Airlines, Copa America, Qatar Airlines, LATAM, Turkis Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Airways Express, Spirit Airlines, and Korean Airlines. This Atlanta airport is similar to LAX, LaGuardia, and JFK because they’re three small airports in three of America’s largest and busiest cities.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport

Chicago O'Hare International Airport electric neon tunnel

Chicago O’Hare International Airport electric neon tunnel.

©EQRoy/Shutterstock.com

The Chicago O’Hare International Airport is one of the busiest airports in America. O’Hare International has 214 non-stop flights in South America, North America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, Oceania, and Asia. It is considered one of the most connected airports in the world because of how far its services stretch globally. It stretches 7,200 acres and is just 17 miles northwest of the Windy City. The O’Hare airport got its fame for how busy it was during the booming jet era for airports. It was known as the world’s busiest airport between 1963 and 1998. In 2021, the airport was ranked the fourth busiest airport in the world.


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About the Author

Justin is an A-Z Animals Writer that loves to cover places, unique natural disasters, and travel. He has eight years of experience as a writer in the medical and media fields. He wrote for the likes of VCU Health, theMSQshop, PayDay LA, and Comic Book Resources under the penname Jay Guevara. Although he's a full time writer, Justin graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2019 with a Bachelors in Health, Physical Education, and Exercise Science with a background in Community Engagement. After spending over two decades in Richmond, Virginia, Justin now resides in the suburbs of Rancho Cucamonga, California. He's a dedicated gymrat. He's also a two-time poetry author who's influenced by rappers Joe Budden and IDK along with Dante Alighieri.

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