ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

World's Busiest Airport - World's Biggest Airports – and World's Largest Airport

Updated on March 27, 2011

Which is the World’s Biggest Airport?

Most international travelers believes the World's Busiest Airport is Heathrow Airport in London, UK, and that the World’s Largest Airport is King Fahd Airport in Damman, Saudi Arabia. This is not necessarily true to everyone as many Air traffic controllers will tell you that the World’s Busiest Airport is Hartsfield Airport in Jackson-Atlanta, U.S.A. Travelers making domestic flights in Hartsfield Airport will agree that Hartsfield Airport is the busiest airport in the world. This means that quantifying the world’s busiest airport can be tricky as there are two or three different answers depending on who is answering the question.

Definitions of International and Domestic Flights

  1. An international flight is defined as a flight that takes off in one country and lands in another country.
  2. A domestic flight is defined as a flight that takes off and lands in the same country

Usually an international flight covers a longer distance and takes more time to complete than a domestic flight. U.S.A has a very large land area in comparison to countries in Europe and Japan. This means that some domestic flights in US covers longer distance and takes more time to complete than international flight across Europe.

For example:

(a) A flight from Hartsfield Airport (ATL) to Victorville Airport (VCV) is a distance of 3020 kilometres but it is referred to as a domestic flight.

(b) A flight from Heathrow Airport (LHR) to Frankfurt (FRA) is a distance of 652 kilometres but it is referred to as an international flight.

Airport Personnel

Airport securities are the personnel that checks on baggage, metal and weapon screenings of individual travelers, etc. To Airport security, a Boeing 777-200 with 344 passengers means more work for them to do than on an Airbus A321 with 198 passengers. To air traffic control (ATC), a Boeing 777-200 with 344 passengers and an Airbus A321 with 198 passengers means equal attention to each plane.

A Boeing 747-400 as a cargo aircraft will carry a payload of about 120, 000 kilogrammes. That is just one aircraft but will certainly make the airport personnel handling that aircraft busy.

It is because of the factors discussed here that quantifying the world’s busiest airport is different to different groups of people. It is only logical to classify the airports based on the following titles:

1. World's Busiest Airport by Aircraft Traffic

An aircraft movement is taken to mean either a landing or a take off of an aircraft.

(i) Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta Airport, US with 0.70 million aircraft movements per year

(ii) O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, US with 0.65 million aircraft movements per year.

2. World's busiest airports by passenger traffic

A passenger traffic is taken to occur when a passenger in an aircraft arrives in, departs from, or transfers through the airport. Top airports for this title of World's busiest airports by passenger traffic include

(i). Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta, US with 75 million passengers per year

(ii). Beijing Capital International Airport, China with 62 million passengers per year

Hartsfield Airport - The World's busiest airports by passenger traffic as well as the World's Busiest Airport by Aircraft Traffic.image credit: Omoo, Wikimedia commons.
Hartsfield Airport - The World's busiest airports by passenger traffic as well as the World's Busiest Airport by Aircraft Traffic.image credit: Omoo, Wikimedia commons. | Source

3. World's Busiest Airports by International Passenger Traffic

An international passenger traffic is taken to occur when a passenger in an international flight arrives in, departs from, or transfers through the airport. Top airports for this title of World's busiest airports by international passenger traffic include

(i) London Heathrow Airport, UK, with 40 million international passengers per year

(ii) Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris, France, with 36 million international passengers per year.

London Heathrow Airport - the World's Busiest Airports by International Passenger Traffic, image credit: Dbx54, Wikimedia commons.
London Heathrow Airport - the World's Busiest Airports by International Passenger Traffic, image credit: Dbx54, Wikimedia commons. | Source

4. World's Busiest Airports by Cargo Traffic

Cargo traffic refers to weight of flight cargo loaded or unloaded from an aircraft. Top airports for this title of world's busiest airports by cargo traffic include

(i) Memphis International Airport, Tennessee, US, with 3.7 billion kilos per year

(ii) Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong, with 3.4 billion kilos per year

Memphis International Airport, Tennessee- the World's Busiest Airports by Cargo Traffic, image credit: Thomas R Machnitzki, Wikimedia commons.
Memphis International Airport, Tennessee- the World's Busiest Airports by Cargo Traffic, image credit: Thomas R Machnitzki, Wikimedia commons.

World’s Biggest Airport - and World's Largest Airport

World’s biggest airport is also the world’s largest airport. The world’s largest airport is King Fahd International Airport, Saudi Arabia, with land area of approximately 780 square kilometres. This airport has a royal terminal specially reserved for the Saudi Royal Family, top government personnel, and other official guests. This world’s biggest airport handles only 5 million passengers per year which is only 6% of the passengers handled by Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta Airport of United States.

King Fahd International Airport, Saudi Arabia - the Worlds biggest airport - and the worlds largest airport.image credit, moaksey, Wikipedia commons http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dammam_Airport.jpg
King Fahd International Airport, Saudi Arabia - the Worlds biggest airport - and the worlds largest airport.image credit, moaksey, Wikipedia commons http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dammam_Airport.jpg

If you have liked this article, and you would want this page to keep up and improved, you can help by purchasing some great items from Amazon by following Amazon links and widgets on this page. A free way to help would be to link back to this webpage from your web page, blog, or discussion forums.

The Author’s page is designed to help beginners and average readers make some money as an extra income to supplement what they may be earning elsewhere - details of which you can find in My Page.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Jason Matthews profile image

      Jason Matthews 

      5 years ago from North Carolina

      I love this hub. In general, airports fascinate me. I enjoyed learning more airport facts and looking at your photos. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      Sarath Kumar 

      6 years ago

      Grt job done....

    • yenajeon profile image

      Yena Williams 

      7 years ago from California

      Super interesting! It's weird that there's different ways to define "Busies Airport!". Rated up.

    • vydyulashashi profile image

      vydyulashashi 

      7 years ago from Hyderabad,India

      Wonderful info regarding how to evaluate the status of airport.

      God Bless You!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for your great work of research.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)