Last year, over 1.2 billion people travelled around the world. As passenger volumes continue to scale to record highs, we are eager to highlight the ten busiest airports in the world. Once again, Hartsfield-Jackson-Atlanta International Airport continues to reign the skies at the world’s busiest airport, with more than 100 million passengers in 2015.
1) Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
No. of Passengers: 101,491,106
The world’s busiest airport has reigned in the top spot for the last eighteen years. Welcoming over 100 million passengers in 2015, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has been named the world's busiest airport again.
Contributing to its success is Atlanta’s convenient location. The city is within a two-hour flight of 80% of the United States population. It is also a major connecting hub and port of entry into North America.
2) Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK)
No. of Passengers: 89,938,628
Head east for the second busiest airport: Beijing Capital International Airport saw 89.9 million passengers last year as its traffic grew by 4.4 percent.. Known as China’s No. 1 Gateway, the aviation hub has rapidly scaled the rankings of the world’s busiest airports over the last decade.
To accommodate the growing traffic volume, the airport added an enormous Terminal 3 in 2008 in time for the Olympic Games. Terminal 3 is the sixth largest building in the world by area.
Beijing Capital International was expected to overtake Atlanta by 2015 but its double digit growth weakened because of China's slowdown and capacity constraint.
3) Dubai International Airport (DXB)
No. of Passengers: 78,014,841
The sixth busiest passenger airport in 2014, Dubai leapfrogged into third position in 2015. Total passenger traffic grew by 10.7%. In terms of international passengers, DXB is also the world’s busiest, becoming a pivot connecting long-haul international flights from east and west, north and south.
4) Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
No. of Passengers: 76,942,493
More than 76 million travellers passed through Chicago O’Hare International Airport, the second busiest US airport. Thanks to a 9.8% growth, the airport moved from the seventh to fourth position in 2015. After years of congestion, the airport is reaping the benefits of runway expansions and other capacity developments.
5) Tokyo International Airport (HND)
No. of Passengers: 75,316,718
Also known as Haneda Airport, Tokyo International lies on the Japanese island of Honshu. The airport is well-linked to central Tokyo by road, rail and monorail links. With over 75 million travellers going through the airport last year, passenger growth rose by 3.4%.
HND was the original international airport in Tokyo, but today Narita Airport has taken over majority the international flights. Despite most of HND flights being domestic, it remains the busiest airport in Japan and second busiest airport in all Asia.
6) London Heathrow International Airport (LHR)
No. of Passengers: 74,989,795
Located in London’s outskirts, Heathrow Airport handles over 70 million passengers annually. The airport started 83 years ago as a humble facility for testing and assembling aircraft.
Today it has grown to become Europe’s busiest airport, at times even struggling to add flights on runways that are effectively full. In October, UK approved a third runway at the airport.
7) Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
No. of Passengers: 74,937,004
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Southern California is one of the busiest airports in the world. LAX began as a modest general aviation field in the 1920s and has grown to be a premier aviation facility attracting over 74 million passengers yearly.
The airport has nine passenger terminals, which are all connected by a U-shaped, two-level roadway, making transitions between them a breeze. The star-studded airport is also a great spot for celebrity spotting.
8) Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)
No. of Passengers: 68,283,407
Surrounded by water and nestled 25 miles southwest of central Hong Kong, HKG is one of the world’s busiest airports, serving 100 airlines operating flights to about 180 locations worldwide.
The aviation hub was voted the World’s Best Airport multiple times over the years. It is also traveller’s favourite with passenger-friendly amenities like free wireless Internet and easy navigation.
9) Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
No. of Passengers: 65,766,986
Named after Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French Forces during the Second World War, CDG sees an astounding number of travellers visiting Paris each year. Charles de Gaulle Airport is 14 miles northeast of Paris and close to many of the world’s most iconic tourist spots.
10) Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
No. of Passengers: 64,072,468
As one of the most visited airports in the world, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport does not lack space. Spanning more than 26.9 square miles, DFW is larger than the island of Manhattan. In fact, DFW could contain New York’s JFK, Chicago’ O’Hare, and Los Angeles International airports with room to spare.
The airport also serves 149 domestic and 58 international nonstop destinations worldwide.