TOP 11 largest airports in the world, by area occupied, in 2020

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Airports are the main gateways from one country to another for air travel. These are real "cities" developed to provide logistics and infrastructure for aircraft, to manage the transit of cargo and passengers and to be able to accommodate tens of thousands of passengers every day.

Over the years, the steady increase in the number of passengers has made many airports too crowded. It has become increasingly difficult to manage the large number of passengers in a single building and / or receive all aircraft on a single platform. Thus, countries began to invest in major airports, building new terminals and runways.

Below you have the TOP 10 airports in the world, by area occupied, in 2020. They can accommodate millions of passengers annually and tens of thousands of flights. Every day, hundreds of planes land and take off, all in a continuous hustle and bustle

Today's mega airports make you feel like you're walking through an entire city!

11. Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) ~ 32,4 square kilometers

Suvarnabhumi International Airport, the main airport in Bangkok, is known as the largest international airport in the Southeast Asia region. Following its opening for air operations in 2006, the airport became the main hub for Thai Airways, Thai Smile, Bangkok Airways and Thai VietJet.

Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) has three main terminals. Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 manage international flights, while Terminal 3 serves only domestic operations. The airport has two parallel runways 3700 meters long and 4000 meters respectively. There is also a third track under construction, 4000 meters long.

10. Cairo International Airport (CAI) ~ 36,3 square kilometers

Cairo International Airport began operations in 1945. The airport is located in Heliopolis. It is the busiest airport in Egypt and the main hub for Egypt Air and Nile Air.

Cairo International Airport has four terminals. Three major terminals serve both international and domestic flights. In 2011, the new terminal called Seasonal Flight Terminal (SFT) was included in the operational service. The main purpose of the SFT terminal was to take over the surplus activity from the other terminals, having a seasonal regime. The airport has three long runways between 3300 and 4000 meters.

9. Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) ~ 39,1 square kilometers

The airport began commercial services in 1999. Shanghai Pudong Airport is an important aviation hub for Shanghai Airlines and China Eastern Airlines (CIAH) (CEA).

Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) has two main passenger terminals. Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 operate domestic and international flights. The expansion and modernization plan includes a third terminal and two additional runways. The airport currently has four runways, with lengths ranging from 3400 meters to 3800 meters. Every year, over 75 million passengers cross its threshold.

8. George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) ~ 40,5 square kilometers

Originally called "Houston Intercontinental Airport", the airport was opened in 1969. George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) is located in Houston, Texas, United States and serves as the second largest aviation hub for United Airlines.

George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) has five terminals. Terminals A, B, C, D and E serve both domestic and international operations. The airport has five runways, with lengths between 2700 meters and 3700 meters. Annually, more than 45 million passengers are registered on domestic and international flights.

7. Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX) ~ 47 square kilometers

Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX) ranks 6th in the world's largest airports, but boasts the title of "the world's largest single-building airport." 

Beijing Daxing Airport was opened in 2019 and has become the main hub for three major Chinese airlines - Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines.

Daxing Airport has a single terminal, with five branches and looking like a starfish. The "starfish" airport has four runways, with dimensions ranging between 3400 meters and 3800 meters. The airport is designed to accommodate up to 200 million passengers annually, but pandemic with the new coronavirus it greatly diminished his drive.

6. Orlando International Airport (MCO) ~ 50,9 square miles

This airport opened its doors in 1981. Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the operating hub for JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines.

Orlando Airport has a main terminal that is divided into two terminals, A and B. The airport has four parallel runways. Annually, this airport is visited by over 50 million passengers.

5. Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) ~ 52,6 square kilometers

Washington Dulles International Airport, commonly known as Dulles International Airport, opened in 1962. The airport is the first and main hub for United Airlines.

The airport terminal complex consists of a main terminal and two secondary buildings - A / B and C / D buildings. Dulles Airport has four runways.

4. Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) ~ 69,5 square kilometers

Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport entered service in 1974. The airport is a major hub for American Airlines.

Dallas Airport has five terminals. Terminal A is fully occupied by American Airlines. The rest of terminals B, C, D and E serve international and domestic flights. 

The airport has a total of seven runways. DFW Airport is the only airport in the world with four paved runways longer than 4.000 meters.  

3. Istanbul International Airport (IST) ~ 76.5 square kilometers

Istanbul International Airport (IST) was inaugurated in 2018 and is the main hub for Turkish Airlines and Onur Air. After opening, it became the main airport in Istanbul.

The airport has 5 operational runways and is designed to accommodate up to 150 million passengers. At the end of its development, in 2025, Istanbul International Airport (IST) will have 6 runways and will be able to handle up to 200 million passengers.

2. Denver International Airport (DEN) ~ 135,7 square kilometers

Denver International Airport began operations in 1995. It is a hub for United Airlines and Frontier Airlines, as well as a base for Southwest Airlines.

Denver Airport has a main terminal, which is connected to three central satellites, A, B and C. The airport has six runways.

1. King Fahd International Airport (DMM) ~ 776 square kilometers

King Fahd International Airport, also known as Dammam Airport, was opened for air operations in 1999. The airport serves as a hub for Saudi Arabia, SaudiGulf Airlines and Flynas.

The airport has three terminal buildings. The six-story main terminal operates international and domestic flights. The Aramco terminal serves private airlines operated by Saudi Aramco. The Royal Terminal serves the Saudi royal family, official guests and government officials. Dammam Airport has two runways.

King Fahd International Airport (DMM) has entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest airport in the world, with 776 square kilometers. Its area is even larger than its neighboring country, Bahrain. If we look at the airport website, it mentions that the area used is 36,75 square kilometers.

What was the biggest airport you flew to?

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