Top 5 Largest Airports In The World In 2018

Whenever we travel with airplanes, we always have to depart and arrive somewhere. That somewhere is an airport - a vital piece of aviation. Because without it, we would not be able to travel or receive cargo. Or just look at the magnificent aircraft standing, taxiing and departing at the airport, while we wait for our own flights. Some people are lucky enough to work as planespotters - taking pictures of airplanes at airports. Sounds like a dream job, eh?

Yet an airport never sleeps. With passenger and cargo numbers increasing every year, it seems like they are destined to be consumed by the chaos around them. However, somehow these magnificently planned out structures manage to remain calm, even during the stormiest weather.

But which one handled the most passengers in 2018? With 5 weeks remaining till New Year's Eve rolls around, each Friday we will reveal the Top 5 busiest airports of 2018.

Without further ado, here are the Top 5:

5. Tokyo Haneda Airport - HND

Tokyo Haneda was built in 1931 and was the largest civil airport in Japan (still is). At the time it operated a single runway when in 1939 an additional one was built. The Tokyo government planned to expand it, but the plans were scrapped with the breakout of World War 2. Afterward, the Americans converted into a military airfield. In the 1950s, the Haneda resumed commercial service.

Haneda has 3 terminals: 2 domestic and 1 international one. 45 airlines from all over the world have destinations to and from Tokyo Haneda. For the past few years, it has been one of the biggest airports in the world consistently.

Tokyo Haneda Airport - HND
Tokyo Haneda Airport

4. Los Angeles International - LAX

LAX is the biggest airport on the West Coast, essentially connecting America with Asia and Oceania. It also serves as a hub for more airlines than any other carrier in the United States. Currently, LAX has 9 terminals, serving 71 airlines, which fly to domestic and international destinations.

LAX is recognized for its unique Theme Building, which looks like a UFO that has landed on its legs.

For many years now, the airport has consistently managed to sustain its status as one of the busiest airports in the world and this year is no exception.

Los Angeles International - LAX Airport
LAX Theme Building.

3. Dubai International Airport - DXB

Dubai International has become one of the biggest airports in the world in the past 10 years. To illustrate, the airport has seen their passenger numbers doubling in the past 8 years. In 1959 the Sheikh of Dubai issued the order to construct the airport. At first, the runway was a strip of compacted sand. After 4 years, construction of an asphalt runway started. During the 1980s, Dubai International saw rapid expansion. The reason? It was a stopping point between Europe and South East Asia, Oceania and other parts of Asia. Currently, the airport has three terminals and two runways. It is also one of the few airports in the world, which can support the Airbus A380 superjumbo. DXB even has a Flower center facility, where it handles imported flowers, as they need special conditions.

2. Beijing Capital International Airport – PEK

The Chinese government opened up the Beijing Capital International in 1958 – making it one of the youngest airports on the list. As others have started as a runway field, Beijing Capital had a proper Terminal Building and a runway. After 20 years of using one terminal, the airport operators deemed it was too small, so a new Terminal 1 was built. To mark the 50th year anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, the airport opened up Terminal 2. Terminal 3 was opened up in 2008, just before the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Terminal 3 at the time was the largest man-made structure in the world and represented the growth of China as one of the economic powers in the world. The airport has the honor of receiving the first international flight in China – Pakistan International Airlines flew in from Islamabad. Currently, Beijing Capital has 3 Terminals and 3 Runways. Economists determined that the airport brings in over $6 billion dollars to China and directly or indirectly creates over 550.000 jobs. Around 80 airlines have destinations from and to PEK. Air China, China Eastern, China Southern and Hainan Airlines use Beijing Capital as a hub. Beijing Capital has consistently been one of the busiest airports in the world, as it is the second busiest airport since 2010 – and 2018 is no exception. But not only in passenger traffic, as cargo traffic has been growing rapidly. Will Beijing Capital overtake the number one spot in 2019?

1. Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport – ATL

Hartsfield – Jackson is one of the biggest airports in the world, as its passenger numbers year after year keeps it very busy. In fact, Hartsfield – Jackson has been the busiest airport in the world for 20 years now. When Atlanta committed to building an airfield in the location of an abandoned racetrack called The Atlanta Speedway, Mayor Walter Sims named it Candler Field. Florida Airways mail aircraft was the first plane to land in the airfield. A few years after that, Eastern Airlines and Delta Air Lines began their flights to the airport. As time went by, the airfield quickly grew to become one of the biggest in the United States. The 1950s saw the airport its first international destination to Montreal and its first jet airliner, a prototype Sud Aviation Caravelle. Also, construction began on a new terminal, that opened up in 1961. In the second half of the 20th century was a time of expansion for Hartsfield, as the airport opened up another terminal. In 2003, the Atlanta City council voted to rename the airport Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, to honor two former mayors of Atlanta. Currently, the airport has 2 terminals. The terminal and concourse space totals to 630,000 square meters. To compare, the city-state of Vatican has a total area of 440,000 square meters. 23 airlines fly to the ATL, with Delta using it as a hub.  

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport – ATL
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International So, these are the busiest landing and departing destinations in 2018. Were You Surprised by the results, or did you predict the outcome? Which airport do You think will be the busiest one in 2019?