Millions of travelers from around the world choose air transport each day and as a result, some airports have become crucial connecting hubs for global transportation and gateways to destinations across the globe. In order to determine how busy an airport is, rankings use different statistics like aircraft movements, cargo traffic, and passenger traffic.
The present article will present to you the world's top 10 busiest airports based on passenger traffic which includes all departing, arriving, transferring and direct transfer passengers. The figures are based on the most recent report by the Airports Council International (ACI), released in April 2023.
So here they are, the world’s busiest airports for 2022 revealed.
10. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
The tenth place goes to the Parisian airport where 57 474 033 passengers were enplaned and deplaned.
CDG is the main hub for the French flag carrier, Air France, and is known for its cutting-edge technology and efficiency when it comes to the passenger check-in and boarding process. Despite its large size and high volume of traffic, the airport consistently receives positive reviews for its cleanliness, organization, and overall passenger experience.
9. New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL)
Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI Airport) is the primary international airport serving the city of New Delhi, India, and is named after the former Prime Minister of India. The airport has been significantly expanded and modernized over the years in order to meet the needs of the growing air traffic, so it is not a coincidence that it takes the ninth position in the world ranking: 59 490 074 passengers passed through the New Delhi airport in 2022.
Indira Gandhi International Airport has received several awards and accolades for its services and infrastructure, e.g. it has been recognized as the "Best Airport in India/South Asia" multiple times by Skytrax.
8. London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
The second European representative in the ranking is the biggest British airport, Heathrow. A total of 61 614 508 travelers passed through this major local and global hub in 2022. Besides the 8th position in the global passenger traffic ranking, Heathrow was second in the world for international passenger traffic after the Dubai airport.
Heathrow is one of the six airports serving London and the Greater London area and has four operational passenger terminals: Terminal 2 (The Queen's Terminal), Terminal 3, Terminal 4, and the newest Terminal 5. Each of them caters to different airlines and destinations, and the airport is the primary hub for the British flag carrier, British Airways.
7. Istanbul International Airport (IST)
The newly built Turkish airport (fully functional since 2019) hosted 64 289 107 passengers last year but as expansion continues, the projections for 2025 are for passenger traffic to reach 200 million travelers.
Istanbul airport (IST) is the hub for Turkish Airlines, the national flag carrier of Turkey, and serves as a major connecting point between Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. It offers direct flights to more than 350 destinations worldwide, making it one of the world's most well-connected airports.
6. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
The first American airport to be mentioned in this ranking, LAX takes the 6th place with 65 924 298 travelers served last year. The LA airport is also an important cargo hub and made it into the top 10 largest cargo airports for 2022, taking the 9th position.
5. Dubai International Airport (DXB)
The fifth position goes to the Dubai airport, the primary airport serving the city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In 2022, this Middle Eastern hub welcomed 66 069 981 passengers at its three terminals.
DXB is a hub for Emirates, the largest airline in the Middle East, and offers direct flights to over 240 destinations worldwide.
Apart from its world-class facilities and amenities, DXB is known for its luxurious shopping and dining options, with over 500 retail outlets and restaurants available across its terminals.
4. Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD)
The second American representative in the top 10 busiest airports for 2022 is the largest airport in Illinois, Chicago O’Hare, which welcomed 68 340 619 passengers last year.
United Airlines and American airlines both use O’Hare airport as a major hub. The Chicago airport has non-stop flights to 214 destinations in pretty much every part of the globe and is considered the world's most connected airport as of last year.
3. Denver International Airport (DEN)
The honorary third place in the ranking goes to the Denver airport: 69 286 461 travelers were enplaned and deplaned there in 2022.
The Colorado airport holds another important position in a global ranking: it is the second biggest airport in the world by surface area (after King Fahd International Airport in Dammam, Saudi Arabia). Denver is the largest operating base for Southwest airlines, and a major hub for United and Frontier airlines.
2. Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport served 73 362 946 passengers in 2022 and deserved the second place in the ranking.
The Texas giant is the largest American Airlines hub in the United States and is also the third busiest airport in the world by aircraft movements.
1. Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta international airport (ATL)
The Atlanta airport is the undisputed champion in the world’s top 10 busiest airports for last year with its 93 699 630 passengers enplaned and deplaned.
Hartsfield-Jackson has held the title of the world's largest airport in terms of passenger traffic since 2000, and it has retained the first spot even during the COVID-19 pandemic, serving nearly 76 million passengers in 2021.
Additionally, it holds the top spot as the busiest airport in the world in terms of aircraft movements.
The world's busiest airports play a crucial role in facilitating global travel and connecting people across different parts of the world. With millions of passengers passing through their terminals every year, these airports have become more than just transportation hubs; they offer a range of amenities and services to ensure that passengers have a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience. For more airport rankings, you can read our blog posts The biggest airports in the world and The largest airports in the world.