Top 10 Biggest Airports In The World [2024]

Air travel has transformed the Globe in less than a century. Today, airports are among the biggest and busiest places on Earth. Some of them are so gigantic, they even boast their own zip code and police department. Others are genuine feats of architecture combining tradition with modern technology.

There are over 40,000 airports worldwide with codes given by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). But which airport  is the largest in the world?

The answer depends on our definition of 'large’. Mega-airports can be ranked according to: physical size, number of flights (air traffic) or number of passengers (click here to read about the world’s busiest airports).

In this article we are going to navigate the top 10 biggest airports in the world by size. So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready for take-off!


#10 Suvarnabhumi Airport - Bangkok, Thailand - 32 km²

Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), also known as Bangkok International, is Thailand’s main airport. It covers an impressive land area of 32 square kilometres, which makes it as big as 6000 soccer fields.

Suvarnabhumi (which means ‘The Golden Land’) is a hub for 95 airlines and serves over 63 million passengers a year. Costing an estimated US$5 billion, the airport opened in 2006 and boasts the world’s tallest freestanding control tower (over 132 metres)!

Suvarnabhumi has two parallel runways and can accommodate giant planes like Airbus A380.

Facilities: The Golden Land Airport can handle 76 flights per hour. It features 360 check-in-counters, 130 passport control checkpoints for arrivals and 72 more for departures. Passengers can cross this huge airport quickly on its 107 moving walkways and navigate the multi-level Terminal using 102 elevators and 83 escalators.

Fun fact

Thailand’s largest airport has a mysterious and dark past. It was built over an ancient burial ground and construction workers reported seeing ghosts at the site. Therefore, a special ceremony with 99 buddhist monks was held to appease the dead. In 2017, 8 people died falling from the top floor so $900,000 was invested in building special glass barriers to protect travellers.


#9 Cairo International - Cairo, Egypt - 36 km²

Located at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and The Middle East, Cairo International Airport (CAI) is the busiest and largest airport in Egypt. It’s the main hub for Egyptair and Nile air.

Cairo Airport started as a US Air Force Base serving the Allied Forces in WWII in the 1940s and in 1963 replaced the old Heliopolis Airport near Cairo.

Today, Cairo International is used by more than 30 million passengers a year. It has 3 Terminals serving both domestic and international flights and an extra Seasonal Terminal with the amazing capacity to handle 1200 passengers an hour in peak pilgrim seasons.

A special free MiniMetro line which can serve up to 170 passengers connects the three terminals, the AirMall and the multi-storey airport carpark.

Passengers can stay at the luxurious five-star airport hotel. LeMeridien has 350 rooms and is connected to Terminal 3 via a 230-metre-long skyway equipped with a moving walkway.

Cairo International Airport is used by 45 passenger airlines, several charter and 9 cargo airlines.


#8 Shanghai Pudong International - Shanghai, China - 40 km²

Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) is China’s second largest airport. It is served by 104 airlines that take passengers to over 210 destinations.

Building Shanghai Airport took 2 years and an investment of $1.67 billion. 

The H-shaped airport has two main terminals connected by a 600-metre-long hallway. Travellers can go between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 by bus, using a moving walkway or simply on foot.

Shanghai Pudong houses Asia’s largest DHL express hub, which handles up to 6 million tons of cargo every year.

Travellers can find Post Offices at both Terminals 1 and 2. Economy passengers can also pay for access to the lounges where they can freely use the Wi-Fi, enjoy the showers and drink unlimited amounts of tea.

Online reviews describe the food at Shanghai Pudong as underwhelming and pricey. However, massage and manicure/pedicure at Youngqi Spa at Terminal 2 come highly recommended.


#7 George Bush Intercontinental - Houston, Texas, United States - 44 km²

George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) boasts 5 terminals, 5 runways and serves more than 45 million passengers a year. A special Skyway train service connects all terminal buildings and the 600-room airport Marriott Hotel.

George Bush Intercontinental was voted Best Airport in the USA in 2020. It is famous for its impressive leisure activities and interactive airport maps.

The airport is a hub for 27 passenger airlines and offers 185 non-stop destinations.

George Bush Intercontinental has:


59,000 square metres of windows to clean 25,000 parking spaces
1,700 acres to mow 164 restrooms to clean
3700 square metres of flowers and shrubbery to maintain 5 kilometres of baggage belts to load


beijing daxing international


#6 Beijing Daxing International - Beijing, China - 47 km²

Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX) is the newest airport in our ranking. When completed in 2019, it replaced the 109-year-old Nanyuan Airport (Beijing’s first ever airport).

Beijing Daxing took 8000 workers, 5 years and $11.5 billion to build. Its unique star-fish-shaped Terminal is the world’s largest single building with its 700,000 square metres (as big as 97 soccer fields).

This extraordinary engineering feat by architect Zaha Hadid features a remarkable design inspired by traditional Chinese architecture. All airport concourses are connected to a central main hall - just like interconnected spaces in Chinese palaces linked to a central courtyard.

The central atrium of the Terminal features 8 giant columns, 106-metres tall, each ending with a skylight at the top to let the sunlight in.

The building is also a fascinating mix of the traditional and the modern. Along with Chinese gardens and koi-carp ponds, travellers interact with robots providing flight updates and airport information and get scanned by facial recognition cameras.

The airport has a remarkable rain-water collection system, which stores and purifies water from nearby lakes and streams.

Beijing Daxing International is expected to become the world’s busiest airport by 2040.

Beijing Daxing International:


11 villages were demolished
20,000 people were relocated (and compensated)

Qing Dynasty tombs with jewellery and relics were

found during the excavation of the airport site

 washington airport

#5 Washington Dulles International - Washington D.C., United States - 49 km²

Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) serves 125 international destinations.

The location for the airport was selected by President Eisenhower in 1958 - just a 30-minute drive from Washington D.C. When the airport opened in 1962 it had special ‘mobile lounges’ that could transport a total of 102 passengers from the Terminal to the aircraft.

Today Washington Dulles has 139 gates and is served by 36 airline carriers.

It is famous for being among the most kid-friendly airports with its unlimited Wi-Fi, numerous charging stations in its lounges, multiple nursing areas and special play zones created in partnership with NASA.

The airport has over 100 retail stores and restaurants and often hosts art/ photography exhibitions and live performances by famous musicians and dancers.

Fun fact

Action movie Die Hard 2: Die Harder takes place mainly at Washington Dulles Airport.

 orlando international airport

#4 Orlando International - Orlando, Florida, United States - 54 km²

Orlando International Airport (MCO) serves 140 domestic and international destinations with over 850 flights per day. It is the hub for 44 airlines.

The airport code MCO stands for its former name: McCoy - an Air Force Base which was closed in 1975 after the end of the Vietnam war.

Today, due to its strategic location, Orlando Airport is a hub for tourism and entertainment. It even offers a complimentary coach transport service (the Disney’s Magical Express) to all Disney guests who have a resort reservation. An extra bonus: a special checked luggage pickup service.

Orlando International boasts a luxurious hotel, several restaurants, a variety of shops, and club lounge facilities.

orlando international infographic

#3 Dallas/Fort Worth International - Dallas, Texas, United States - 70 km²

With its total area of about 70 square kilometres, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) is almost as big as Manhattan. It has its own zip code, police department, fire brigade and emergency medical service.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport started operating in 1974. With its 600-room hotel, a post office, restaurant and shops it was the biggest airport in the world at the time.

Today the international airport has 7 runways, 5 Terminals and 171 gates. It is served by 26 passenger airlines offering 260 destinations. Additional 22 cargo airlines use it as a hub.

Dallas/Fort Worth Airport ranked the 2nd busiest airport in the world in 2022 with a total of over 73 million passengers for the year.

Being one of the biggest and busiest airports worldwide, Dallas/Fort is sometimes described as a nightmare for connecting passengers since they have to walk long distances between gates with no walkways or shortcuts.

Dallas/Fort Worth Airport features:

  • 3 Hyatt Hotels
  • 131 restaurants and bars
  • 103 retail shops
  • 11 lounges
  • 6 spas
  • 4 ‘Classic Shoe Shines’ stations 


#2 Denver International - Denver, Colorado, United States -136 km²

Denver International Airport (DEN) is the largest airport in North America.

Its vast expanse is served by 35,000 employees. About 210,000 passengers use the airport on peak days (such as Memorial Day in the US).

Famous for its iconic tented-roof echoing the nearby Rocky Mountains, Denver International boasts one of the world’s lengthiest runways stretching over 5 kilometres.

One of the key features of this airport is that it serves as an art gallery displaying paintings, murals and various art installations. It is also famous for its gargoyles and the eerie giant blue mustang called Blucifer.

All passengers can enjoy the fresh air at the 3 outdoor patios of the airport, they can also play mini-golf in the park in the summer or even attend fitness classes.

Fun fact

 There are numerous conspiracy theories about Denver International Airport that you may find amusing if you are a fan of the lizard people or secret underground bunkers.

 king fahd airport


#1 King Fahd International - Dammam, Saudi Arabia - 776 km²

Named after the former king of Saudi Arabia - Fahd bin Abdulaziz, King Fahd International Airport (DMM) is by far the largest airport in the world. It’s in fact larger than Bahrain (one of Saudi Arabia’s neighbouring countries) and almost as big as the city of New York. No wonder it is in the Guiness Book of World Records!

The airport, formerly a US airbase used during the Gulf War, started operating in 1999. It can handle 12 million passengers a year and is served by 37 airlines. King Fahd International has 3 terminals. One of these is a passenger terminal. The second one is used by state-owned oil giant Aramco. The third terminal, covering an area of 16,400 m2, is luxuriously decorated and reserved for the royal family.

King Fahd Airport has an 85-metre-high observation tower (as tall as a 30-storey building), a magnificent mosque and even a Royal Hall (reserved for the royal family, official guests and government employees). Its busiest route is between Dammam and Dubai with 70 flights per week.

Fun fact

King Fahd is also home to one of the world’s shortest international flights, Dammam to Bahrain, which takes 45 minutes gate-to-gate.


Which is the smallest airport in the world?

Juancho E Yrausquin Airport, located on the Dutch Caribbean Island of Saba, is considered the world's smallest airport as it has the shortest commercial runway in the world, with a length of 400 m.

Did you have a delayed flight in the last 3 years?

Check your compensation for delayed flights for free!