25 of the World’s Busiest Airports

Posted by on November 7, 2012

As the world becomes more interconnected and increasingly crowded people have inevitably started traveling more. According to some current estimates nearly 5 million people are shuffled among the world’s airports everyday. If you’ve ever been one of them then you can attest to the fact that these are truly 25 of the world’s busiest airports.

Charlotte/Douglas International Airport

Charlotte/Douglas International AirportThis joint military and civilian airport located in Charlotte, North Carolina is US Airways largest hub and moves 39 million passengers to over 175 destinations around the world every year.

George Bush Intercontinental Airport

George Bush Intercontinental AirportImage Source

Serving the Houston, Texas metropolitan area, one of the largest in the United States, this airport moves over 40 million passengers every year.


Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

Phoenix Sky Harbor International AirportThis joint civil-military public airport located near Phoenix, Arizona is the biggest in the American southwest and sees over 40 million passengers every year.

San Francisco International Airport

San Francisco International AirportImage Source

One of the major gateways between Europe and Asia this aviation hub is often referred to by its airport code “SFO”. It serves about 41 million passengers every year.


Shanghai Pudong International Airport

Shanghai Pudong International AirportPudong is the busiest international hub in mainland China serving over 41 million passengers annually, half of which are either leaving or coming from abroad.

McCarran International Airport

McCarran International AirportAs the principal airport serving the Las Vegas, Nevada area McCarran sees roughly 41 million passengers every year.

Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport

Guangzhou Baiyun International AirportChina’s second busiest airport with over 45 million people being served annually Baiyun International is a major hub in southern China.

Singapore Changi Airport

Singapore Changi AirportUsually referred to as just Changi Airport, this aviation hub serves over 100 airlines operating 6,000 weekly flights to hundreds of cities around the world. Every year over 46 million passengers take off and land on its runways.

John F. Kennedy International Airport

John F. Kennedy International AirportPhoto – Mark Lennihan

The busiest international gateway to the United States, JFK handles more flights to and from abroad than any other airport in North America. Every year 48 million people walk through its terminals.


Suvarnabhumi Airport

Suvarnabhumi AirportOne of two international airports serving Bangkok, Thailand Suvarnabhumi boasts the world’s largest free standing control tower. It moves roughly 48 million passengers every year.

Madrid-Barajas Airport

Madrid-Barajas AirportOpened nearly 100 years ago in 1928 Madrid-Barajas Airport has grown to be one of the most important aviation centers in Europe serving over 49 million passengers annually.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Amsterdam Airport SchipholImage Source

As the main airport in the Netherlands Amsterdam Airport Schiphol serves as the European hub for Delta Airlines and moves about 50 million passengers annually.


Dubai International Airport

Dubai International AirportThe largest aviation hub in the Middle East, Dubai International Airport serves 51 million passengers annually.

Soekarno–Hatta International Airport

Soekarno–Hatta International AirportServing the greater Jakarta area on the island of Java in Indonesia there have been concerns that it is running over capacity with its 52 million annual passengers.

Denver International Airport

Denver International AirportWith its recognizeable architecture rising out of the Great Planes and being silhouetted against the Rocky Mountains Denver International Airport is hard to miss. Not only that but it is also the largest airport in the United States in terms of land area serving 52 million passengers every year.
Juan Castillo


A Jack of many trades (and interests) Juan has a Bachelor in design from the University of Florida with a Major in Architecture and is currently working on an Urban Regional Planning Masters with a concentration in Transportation. Juan is also an amateur photographer with an interest in nature and transportation...especially trains. This guy loves trains! Follow him on Twitter @Jcgator1.

  • Show your Love For List25

    Join over 410,000 people in our community

  • Al Karpinski

    I don’t see Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport here. It has 37 million passengers pass through it in 2011, and 41 million in 2012, making it around 22nd.

  • Rick Smith

    Umm…. southwest has had no presence at ATL until they acquired AirTran. Also, Southwest has no “hubs”.