Top 10 busiest airports in the US during 2022: high-traffic aviation hubs

The Dallas Fort Worth airport

Air travel is a key aspect of contemporary transportation, and today the United States (US) boasts a vast network of airports catering to millions of passengers each year. Airports Council International, an airports trade association, compiles a list each year specifying the busiest airports in the world. 

Therefore, in this article, we will explore the top 10 busiest airports in the US, based on statistics relating to passenger numbers for the year 2022. These high-traffic aviation hubs play a vital role in connecting people, facilitating trade, and stimulating economic growth. 

We’ll be counting up from the 10th position on the list to the top spot, ticking off the busiest, most bustling airports along the way.

10. Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) – Charlotte, NC 

Taking 10th place on our run-down is Charlotte Douglas International Airport, which welcomed nearly 48 million passengers during 2022. Located in Charlotte, North Carolina, CLT serves as a major hub for both domestic and international flights, connecting passengers to various destinations across the US and beyond.  

It’s also worth noting that American Airlines operates a hub at CLT. 

Jed Whitley / Shutterstock 

9. Orlando International Airport (MCO) – Orlando, FL 

With nearly 50.2 million passengers passing through in 2022, Orlando International Airport takes the ninth position here. It serves as a bustling transportation hub for tourists visiting the popular attractions in Central Florida. MCO offers numerous domestic and international flights, serving as a gateway to the region’s theme parks such as Walt Disney World and other leisure resorts.  

Silver Airways operates a hub at MCO. 

VIAVAL TOURS / Shutterstock 

8. Miami International Airport (MIA) – Miami, FL 

Miami International Airport, located in Miami, Florida, handled more than 50.6 million passengers during 2022, securing the eighth spot here. It serves as a major gateway between the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, facilitating travel and trade between those regions.  

MIA hosts hubs for several airlines, including American Airlines, Atlas Air and Eastern Airlines, amongst others. 

Rene Dominguez / Shutterstock 

7. McCarran International Airport (LAS) – Las Vegas, NV 

Playing host to more than 52 million passengers during 2022, McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas is in seventh place. Known for its proximity to the legendary Las Vegas Strip, the airport primarily caters to tourists and visitors seeking entertainment and leisure. 

CLT serves as a vital hub for both domestic and regional carriers including Southwest Airlines. Additionally, it offers a unique feature that sets it apart from other airports: here, travelers can enjoy playing slot machines while waiting for their flights. 

Austin Deppe / Shutterstock 

6. John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) – New York City, NY 

Located in New York City, JFK handled around 55.3 million passengers in 2022, securing the sixth position in our run-down. It serves as a vital link between the US and international destinations, particularly in Europe, Asia and the Americas. 

JFK Airport holds the distinction of being the busiest airport within New York’s regional airport system, which also encompasses Newark and La Guardia. While JFK does handle domestic flights, its primary focus is on international departures and arrivals. Renowned airlines like Delta and American Airlines utilize JFK as a significant international hub, contributing to its substantial volume of air traffic. 

Popova Valeriya / Shutterstock 

5. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) – Los Angeles, CA 

Situated in Los Angeles, California, LAX welcomed a total of 65.9 million passengers throughout 2022, ranking it as one of the busiest airports in the US. Serving as a major gateway to the West Coast, LAX connects travelers to various destinations worldwide, with a particular focus on the Asia-Pacific region.  

Airlines such as United, Alaska and Delta have hubs at LAX. 

Bradley Caslin / Shutterstock 

4. O’Hare International Airport (ORD) – Chicago, IL 

Handling 68.3 million passengers in 2022, O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, is recognized as one of the busiest airports in the world, placing it at the fourth spot. It serves as a crucial transportation hub, offering a wide range of domestic and international flights, with over 200 possible destinations.  

American and United Airlines have hubs at ORD. 

EQRoy / Shutterstock 

3. Denver International Airport (DEN) – Denver, CO 

In 2022 Denver International Airport witnessed a significant volume of air traffic, totaling 69.2 million passengers, securing it the third position here. As the primary airport serving the state of Colorado, DEN plays a major role as a connecting hub for travelers heading to various destinations within the US, particularly within the American West.  

It serves as a crucial transit hub for domestic flights for several notable airlines, including Southwest, Frontier and United. 

Austin Deppe / Shutterstock 

2. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) – Dallas/Fort Worth, TX 

DFW claims the second spot on our list, handling 73.3 million passengers in 2022. Situated between Dallas and Fort Worth in Texas, this airport serves as a crucial gateway to the southern United States. With a vast network of flights, DFW connects passengers to numerous domestic and international destinations.  

Its rapid growth can be attributed in part to its status as a hub for American Airlines. 

Cassiohabib / Shutterstock 

Top 1 – Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) – Atlanta, GA 

Retaining its position as the busiest airport in the US, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport welcomed a staggering 93,699,630 passengers in 2022. Located in Atlanta, Georgia, ATL serves as a major connecting hub for domestic and international flights, connecting millions of passengers to various destinations across the globe.  

The airport enjoys an advantageous position, benefiting from its proximity to Atlanta, a bustling metropolitan area and a popular destination for tourism and business. Additionally, a significant number of passengers transit through the airport due to Delta, one of the world’s largest airlines, using Hartsfield-Jackson as its designated hub. 

Rank Airport Location Passenger Traffic (2022) 
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) Atlanta, GA 93,699,630 
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) Dallas/Fort Worth, TX 73,362,946 
Denver International Airport (DEN) Denver, CO 69,286,461 
O’Hare International Airport (ORD) Chicago, IL 68,340,619 
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Los Angeles, CA 65,924,298 
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) New York City, NY 55,300,000 
McCarran International Airport (LAS) Las Vegas, NV 52,000,000 
Miami International Airport (MIA) Miami, FL 50,600,000 
Orlando International Airport (MCO) Orlando, FL 50,200,000 
10 Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) Charlotte, NC 48,000,000 
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