Large airports often have impressive amenities, from bookstores and restaurants to upscale lounges and children’s play structures. But sometimes larger airports can be more challenging to navigate, which can cause stress, anxiety, and possibly even missed flights. Visiting these airports can be a dizzying and exciting experience, during which you must find your way through multiple levels, terminals, and check-in counters. Discover the top 10 largest airports in the world and learn about their locations, sizes, and amenities.
1. King Fahd International Airport – 299 Square Miles
Located in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, the King Fahd International Airport is nearly 300 square miles and is the largest airport in the world. The airport was once a U.S. airbase during the Gulf War, but commercial flights began operating in 1999. While it is the largest by size in Saudi Arabia, it is the third largest by passenger volume, receiving around 10 million passengers annually. King Fahd has two runways and three terminal buildings, one for employees, one for mainstream passengers, and one for the Saudi royal family. The busiest route is to and from Dubai. The main terminal features gift shops, restaurants, cafeterias, and banks. The royal terminal is lavishly furnished, although rarely used.
2. Denver International Airport – 53 Square Miles
Denver International Airport, or DIA, is the second-largest airport in the world and the largest in the United States. It is over 33,000 acres (53 square miles) and features one of the longest runways on earth, with a length of 16,000 feet (three miles). You will find this massive airport in Denver, Colorado, where it is the largest employer in the state and serves over 69 million passengers each year. DIA is also one of the busiest airports in the world and an international hub, serving 25 airlines and offering flights to over 215 destinations. You will find an underground train connecting three concourses, along with art pieces, views of the Rocky Mountains, lounges, massage parlors, and over 150 stores and restaurants.
3. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport – 26 Square Miles
The Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) serves the North Texas region and is the third-largest airport in the world. It is also the second-busiest airport worldwide and the largest hub for American Airlines, which is headquartered in the area. DFW is over 17,000 acres (26 square miles) and has its own zip code and emergency services. You can travel to 260 destinations from 28 different airlines. In 2022, there were over 73 million passengers flying in and out of this airport. This inside feels like a mall, featuring spas, lounges, business clubs, and numerous shops and restaurants. There are also two hotels on the airport property.
4. Orlando International Airport – 20 Square Miles
Located six miles southeast of Downtown Orlando, the Orlando International Airport is the fourth largest in the world and the seventh busiest in the United States. The airport is 20 square miles, or over 11,000 acres, and is an operating base for several airlines, including JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, and Avelo. It features 44 airlines in total and produces an average of 850 daily flights. And there are abundant amenities inside the airport. You will find a Hyatt Hotel with an expansive lobby, bars, and restaurants. Outside of the hotel, there are over 120 shops and restaurants, including casual quick bites and fine dining.
5. Dulles International Airport – 18 Square Miles
Located 26 miles west of Downtown Washington, D.C., the Dulles International Airport serves the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is the fifth-largest airport in the world and the fourth-largest in the United States, featuring 18 square miles. Dulles is one of three airports that serve the Washington-Baltimore area and is the 28th-busiest airport worldwide. This international hub serves 60,000 passengers every day, taking them to more than 139 destinations. Dulles features a plethora of dining and shopping options, from grills and taprooms to gourmet markets and luxury designer stores. There are also lounges, nursing rooms, pet relief areas, and kid’s play areas.
6. Beijing Daxing International Airport – 18 Square Miles
While it sits on 18 square miles of land, the Beijing Daxing International Airport is the largest single-building airport in the world (7.5 million square feet). Due to its unique design, this airport has been named “the Starfish.” It is a newer construction, completed in 2019, and already serves 10 to 25 million passengers annually but has the capacity to serve up to 75 million. Beijing Daxing is located 29 miles south of Tiananmen Square, the city center of Beijing, China. Inside the airport, you will find lounges, banks, children’s areas, smart technology stations, an airport hotel, medical rooms, a yoga room, and dozens of restaurants and stores. This airport is hailed as one of the most hygienic and technologically advanced in the world.
7. George Bush Intercontinental Airport – 17 Square Miles
The George Bush Intercontinental Airport is in Houston, Texas, and serves the Greater Houston metro area. It is the busiest airport in Texas for international travel and is the eighth largest in the world, featuring 17 square miles. It is also the 12th-busiest airport overall in the United States and features one of the biggest passenger hubs for United Airlines. The George Bush Intercontinental features five runways, an on-site hotel, an inter-terminal train, restaurants, bars, shops, lounges, health clubs, and conference centers.
8. Shanghai Pudong International Airport – 15 Square Miles
Located in Shanghai, about 19 miles east of the city center, Shanghai Pudong International Airport is an international hub for East Asia, with airline hubs for China Eastern, Shanghai Airlines, and Air China. There are two passenger terminals and four runways, covering an area of 15 square miles. This airport is the world’s third busiest for cargo traffic and the third busiest for passengers in China, serving 74 million annually. Inside you will find lounges, art installations, beautiful architecture, restaurants, and high-end shops.
9. Cairo International Airport – 14 Square Miles
The Cairo International Airport is 14 square miles and is the ninth largest in the world. It is located in Heliopolis, Egypt, where it serves the Great Cairo area. It is the primary hub for Nile Air, Egyptair, Air Cairo, and Air Arabia Egypt. Cairo International Airport is also regularly rated as the best and busiest airport in Africa. It includes a luxury hotel, an international food court, lounges, and stores.
10. Suvarnabhumi International Airport – 12 Square Miles
The Suvarnabhumi International Airport, also known as the Bangkok International Airport, is located in Bangkok, Thailand, and is the tenth-largest airport in the world. With 12 square miles, it is one of the biggest airports in Southeast Asia. It is also one of the busiest cargo air freight hubs. The Bangkok Airport is known for its stunning architectural design and also features amenities like an airport hotel, art pieces, shopping, and restaurants.
Summary of the 10 Largest Airports in the World
|Rank||Largest Airports in the World||Size||Location|
|#1||King Fahd International Airport||299 square miles||Dammam, Saudi Arabia|
|#2||Denver International Airport||53 square miles||Denver, Colorado|
|#3||Dallas Forth Worth International Airport||26 square miles||Dallas-Forth Worth, Texas metropolitan|
|#4||Orlando International Airport||20 square miles||Orlando, Florida|
|#5||Dulles International Airport||18 square miles||Dulles, Virginia|
|#6||Beijing Daxing International Airport||18 square miles||Beijing, China|
|#7||George Bush Intercontinental Airport||17 square miles||Houston, Texas|
|#8||Shanghai Pudong International Airport||15 square miles||Shanghai, China|
|#9||Cairo International Airport||14 square miles||Heliopolis, Egypt|
|#10||Suvarnabhumi Airport||12 square miles||Bangkok, Thailand|
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