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The Top 10 Largest Airports in the World by Size in 2024

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Did you know that one of the largest airports in the world by size covers an area of 776 square kilometers, which is larger than the entire country of Bahrain?

Or that the world’s busiest airport by passenger traffic handled over 93 million passengers in 2022?

Or that the world’s newest starfish-shaped structured airport opened in 2019 and cost over 11 billion U.S. dollars to build.

Well, these are just some of the amazing facts and a trailer to get an idea of what information you will get after reading this.

In this blog post, you will learn how airports are measured by size and why size matters for travelers and airlines. So buckle up to discover the top 10 largest airports in the world by size and what they offer.

Let’s have a look at the largest airports in the world:

1. King Fahd International Airport 

  • Size: 299 square miles
  • Country: Saudi Arabia
  • Elevation: 22 m
  • Opened: 1999

King Fahd International Airport tops the list of the largest airports in the world. Originally a U.S. airbase during the Gulf War before transitioning into a civilian airport. KFIA boasts a passenger terminal with six levels, equipped with 66 check-in counters, 10 baggage reclaim carousels, and 42 gates.

Special Features:

  • Royal Terminal for VIPs and royal family with parking, gardens, and fountains.
  • Cargo Village (Southern Side) handles 1.2 million tons of cargo, 16 aircraft stands, and customs clearance.
  • Airport Mosque hosts 2,000 worshippers with Bedouin-inspired design.
  • Control Tower stands at 85.5 meters with a radar dome and observation deck.
  • Two 4,000-meter parallel runways for various aircraft.

KFIA serves as a hub for Saudia and Flynas, connecting to 43 destinations globally. The airport offers a multitude of other amenities like shops, restaurants, duty-free outlets, airline lounges, a business center, a medical center, a hotel, and various transportation options.

KFIA has expanded with a new runway in 2006, a cargo terminal in 2015, and a check-in hall in Terminal 1 in 2019. Both terminals provide modern amenities like check-in counters, security checkpoints, baggage claim areas, dining options, retail stores, currency exchange services, ATMs, free Wi-Fi, prayer rooms, restrooms, and airline lounges for passenger relaxation before flights.

Interesting Facts:

King Fahd International Airport

2. Denver International Airport

  • Size: 53 square miles
  • Country: United States
  • Elevation: 1,656 m
  • Opened: 1995

Denver International Airport is a renowned aviation hub with a storied history and remarkable growth. Replacing the old Stapleton International Airport, it expanded over land annexed by Denver, making it the second-largest airports in the world. Catering to the surging demand for air travel. DEN is a pivotal hub boasting an array of facilities.

Special Features:

  • Iconic Jeppesen Terminal resembling the Rockies.
  • Five interconnected concourses (A, B, C, D, and E).
  • Two colossal runways for Airbus A380.
  • A futuristic 327-foot-tall control tower.
  • Westin Hotel and Transit Center for accommodations and rail connectivity.
  • Amenities like a play area, business center, lounges, shops, restaurants, and nearby hotels for seamless travel.

Art installations, including sculptures, murals, and interactive exhibits, grace the airport grounds. With over 25 airlines calling DEN home, it offers non-stop service to 215 destinations across the globe.

DEN champions sustainability with a 10-megawatt solar power system, reducing emissions by 15,000 metric tons annually. Eco-initiatives include recycling, composting, alternative fuels, energy-efficient lighting, native vegetation, and water conservation.

Interesting Facts:

Denver International Airport

3. Istanbul Airport

  • Size: 29.5 square miles
  • Country: Turkey
  • Elevation: 99 m
  • Opened: 2018

Istanbul Airport is the city’s largest international and also one of the largest airports in the world with a wide range of facilities and services. The modern terminal covers 1.4 million square meters with an annual capacity of 90 million passengers, featuring five piers, six runways, and a distinctive 90-meter air traffic control tower.

Special Features:

  • It offers diverse lounges, shops, restaurants, and a hotel complex.
  • The airport connects to the city center through various transportation options.
  • Construction began with an approximate cost of 10.2 billion euros.
  • Future plans include four terminal buildings, increasing capacity to 200 million passengers annually.

The terminal comprises five levels, emphasizing passenger comfort with natural ventilation systems to reduce energy consumption. It also includes a duty-free area, piers named from A to G, and a cargo terminal spanning 165,000 square meters.

Istanbul Airport is a major hub with flights over 300 global destinations and other airlines operating there. The airport excels in passenger and cargo traffic and is known for its advanced technology and sustainability efforts.

Interesting Facts:

Largest airports in the world

4. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

  • Size: 26 square miles
  • Country: United States
  • Elevation: 185 m
  • Opened: 1973

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is the result of a collaboration between Dallas and Fort Worth, initiated to address their inadequate individual airports. With an investment of approximately $700 million, it is also among the one of the largest airports in the world.

Special Features:

  • DFW Airport offers five terminals with dining, retail, and services.
  • It also has an observation deck, an aviation history museum, and conference centers.

DFW Airport experienced substantial growth, adding Terminal D, Skylink people mover, DART Orange Line station, and renovating Terminals A, B, C, and E. Additional enhancements involved new runways and runway extensions (13R/31L).

Serving over 28 airlines and connecting travelers to more than 260 destinations worldwide.  DFW Airport is a bustling travel hub with carriers like American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and more. Additionally, it hosts over 22 cargo airlines, making it a significant player in global cargo transportation.

Interesting Facts:

Largest airports in the world

5. Orlando International Airport

  • Size: 20 square miles
  • Country: United States
  • Elevation: 29 m
  • Opened: 1981

Orlando International Airport has four terminals: the Main Terminal, a major hub; the North Terminal, serving Southwest Airlines; the South Terminal, featuring advanced amenities; and Terminal A for international airlines. MCO operates four runways: 1R/19L for large planes, 1L/19R for domestic flights, 9L/27R for international flights, and 9R/27L for backup and crosswind landings.

Special Features:

  • Uniform lounge experience at MCO, including airline, Priority Pass, and independent lounges.
  • Varied shopping and dining, from luxury boutiques to fast-food and dine-in restaurants.
  • Convenient accommodations nearby, including Hyatt Regency, Marriott’s Grande Vista, and Hilton Orlando Airport.
  • Four terminals and three runways, make MCO a major travel hub, especially for American Airlines.
  • Ongoing expansion and improvements, such as Terminal D, the Skylink system, DART Orange Line station, and extensive renovations.

MCO’s appeal extends to its wide-ranging airline offerings, connecting passengers to over 200 destinations across the globe.

Its outstanding domestic and international connectivity ensures its continued prominence on the global stage, making it a preferred choice for travelers near and far.

Interesting Facts:

 international airlines

6. Dulles International Airport

  • Size: 18 square miles
  • Country: United States
  • Elevation: 95 m
  • Opened: 1962

Dulles International Airport is a modern hub of travel excellence with six interconnected terminals (A, B, C, D, E, and F) and four runways to efficiently handle various aircraft sizes. It operates 24/7, offering over 100 gates and a diverse range of fine dining options.

Special Features:

  • Duty-free shops for retail therapy.
  • Currency exchange bureaus and ATMs for financial services.
  • Dedicated centers and conference facilities for business travelers.
  • Various lounges for comfort and relaxation.
  • Medical facilities for emergencies.
  • Convenient transportation options to surrounding areas.
  • Multiple parking garages for passenger convenience.

It has seen extensive expansions and upgrades, such as the addition of a fourth runway in 1978, fostering its growth and modernization.

The airport serves as a major hub for airlines connecting travelers to a wide range of global destinations, offering diverse passenger amenities to cater to their needs.

Interesting Facts:

biggest airline

7. Beijing Daxing International Airport

  • Size: 18 square miles
  • Country: China
  • Elevation: 30 m
  • Opened: 2019

Beijing Daxing International Airport is also one of the largest airports in the world and a major transportation hub. It boasts a 700,000-square-meter terminal with a distinctive five-pointed star design and four runways, handling 620,000 aircraft movements annually.

Special Features:

  • The airport has a uniform layout with a single-terminal building and five connected concourses.
  • It operates efficiently with four parallel runways for aircraft.
  • Business travelers have access to various lounges with amenities.
  • There are diverse shopping and dining options to suit everyone.
  • Accommodation choices range from budget to upscale hotels for all travelers.

Sustainability and efficiency were central to its design, incorporating innovative technologies like RFID baggage tracking, geothermal heat pumps, and facial recognition security access.

Beijing Daxing International Airport connects major carriers to global destinations. In essence, it seamlessly connects the world to Beijing and beyond.

Interesting Facts:


8. George Bush Intercontinental Airport

  • Size: 17 square miles
  • Country: United States
  • Elevation: 30 m
  • Opened: 1969

George Bush Intercontinental Airport, 23 miles north of downtown Houston, is a crucial gateway for the Houston metropolitan area. It features five terminals (A, B, C, D, and E) with parking, check-in, security, baggage claim, and ground transportation services. IAH connects terminals via an underground train system and a shuttle bus.

Special Features:

  • The airport features a modern 269-foot air traffic control tower for safety and efficiency.
  • Passengers and visitors can enjoy lounges, shops, restaurants, cafes, and various services.
  • Terminals have specific functions: A for domestic United Airlines, B for United Express regional flights, C for domestic United Airlines, D for international flights, and E for international flights.

IAH’s history dates back to when it replaced Houston International Airport (now William P. Hobby Airport). The airport was named after George Herbert Walker Bush.

Multiple airlines offer extensive domestic and international routes, connecting travelers to over 150 global destinations. IAH boasts 161 gates, an automated people mover system, subway connections, super jumbo jet gates, pet relief areas, chapels, and various shops and restaurants.

Interesting Facts:

George Bush Intercontinental Airport

9. Shanghai Pudong International Airport

  • Size: 15 square miles
  • Country: China
  • Elevation: 4 m
  • Opened: 1999

Shanghai Pudong International Airport stands as a prominent and modern airport, known for its extensive offerings and world-class services, serving as a vital link for passengers to various destinations and continually setting new standards in the aviation industry.

Special Features:

  • Shanghai Pudong International Airport features Terminal 3 with a state-of-the-art design.
  • PVG operates with four parallel runways, ensuring efficient traffic management.
  • The airport offers diverse lounges, including first-class, business-class, and more.
  • PVG has a variety of shops and restaurants, including international brands and duty-free options.

Primarily established to alleviate congestion at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport. Situated on reclaimed land in Shanghai’s Pudong district, the airport has undergone several expansions, with the most recent in 2019, which introduced a new satellite terminal.

PVG serves as a major hub for China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, and Air China, while also acting as a significant hub for international carriers. The airport’s extensive network connects travelers to over 200 destinations globally.

Interesting Facts:

biggest airline

10. Cairo International Airport

  • Size: 14 square miles
  • Country: Egypt
  • Elevation: 116 m
  • Opened: 1963

Cairo International Airport is the 10th largest airports in the world. It prominently serves both domestic and international travelers offering a comprehensive set of features and facilities.

Special Features:

  • Three terminals: Terminal 1 (domestic flights), Terminals 2 and 3 (international flights).
  • Two runways: Runway 1 (4,000 meters) and Runway 2 (3,399 meters) for different aircraft.
  • Various lounges (business, first-class, family) and a range of shops and restaurants.
  • Nearby budget and luxury hotels for passenger convenience.

The airport’s history is marked by development, with its most recent renovation in 2011 significantly boosting its capacity to serve over 40 million passengers annually.

A range of domestic and international airlines, connect travelers to destinations worldwide, making Cairo International Airport a crucial gateway to Egypt and beyond.

Interesting Facts:

biggest airline


A large airport offers benefits like increased capacity, connectivity, convenience, and economic growth. However, it also comes with challenges such as congestion, noise, pollution, security, and environmental impacts. At the end of our journey, we ranked the top 10 largest airports in the world and explored the details about each. So which airport are you excited about and why?

Tejas Tahmankar

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