Atlanta ranks as the busiest airport in the world, handling a whopping 107 million passengers last year, according to a report from Airports Council International. Passenger traffic is estimated to have reached 8.8 billion in 2018, up from 6 percent a year earlier. Despite a worrisome backdrop due to global trade tensions, passenger traffic “remained robust in 2018,” according to ACI. In fact, in the 20 busiest airports in the world, it grew by 4.7 percent, with more than 1.5 billion people passing through it.
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) handled 69,112,607 passengers in 2018 and is currently negotiating the proposed construction of Terminal F. The design is envisioned as a semi-circle or crescent to help passengers navigate the vast airport.
For international travelers lost at Frankfurt Airport, the presence of the new FArny concierge robot will be a pleasant surprise. The brainchild of Frankfurt airport operator Fraport AG and DB Systel GmbH: “FRArny is based on artificial intelligence and a cloud-based voice user interface.” It receives information from the airport’s own information system. For the largest aviation hub in Germany, this is an extremely useful invention — for sure, one of the 69,510,269 passengers needed help last year.
Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport
69,769,497 passengers passed through Baiyun International Airport, which makes it a serious competitor to other major airports in Asia. According to the South China Morning Post, the airport is constantly expanding international and regional services, and plans to open a new terminal by 2025 with a capacity of 100 million passengers a year.
Indira Gandhi International Airport: Delhi, India
The largest airport in India is also one of the busiest in the world, with 69,900,938 passengers last year. Travelers can thank Terminal 3, which opened in 2010, for this as it improved the airport’s ability to operate international and domestic flights under one roof.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol received 71,053,147 passengers last year. KLM is launching flights to Boston three times a week, while easyJet is adding several new routes such as Verona (three times a week) and Genoa (twice a week). United Airlines will also begin flying to San Francisco seven times a week.
Charles de Gaulle Airport: Paris, France
Charles de Gaulle Airport with 72,229,723 passengers is constantly expanding its range of flights, both international and regional.
Shanghai Pudong International Airport
Shanghai Pudong Airport had 74,006,331 passengers last year, so it’s no surprise that it’s also the fifth busiest airport in Asia.
Read also about the most dangerous airports in a separate selection on LifeGlobe.
Hong Kong International Airport
Hong Kong International Airport has long been regarded as a world-class facility — after all, it handled 74,517,402 passengers in 2018. But with an $18 billion investment, it could take it to a whole new level. The T1 addition will include an observation deck and a 28-meter sky bridge for the A380 passage, while the new 12-story building will have additional parking and recreation areas for all airport staff, as well as a children’s room for parents.
Heathrow Airport: London
Last year, London Heathrow Airport was visited by 80,126,320 people. It is the main city center where most international long-haul flights arrive. Fortunately, most visitors have nothing to worry about – Heathrow Terminal 5 was voted the best in the world at the 2019 Skytrax World Airport Awards.
O’Hare International Airport: Chicago
With 83,339,186 passengers last year, O’Hare in Chicago is one of the largest airports in the world. It was a big deal when the Chicago Department of Aviation invited the public to vote on a new $8.5 billion terminal project. Studio ORD is the winner and plans to start a project that will expand Terminal 5 and bring much-needed improvements to Terminals 1, 2 and 3 in 2021.
An interesting article — the most unusual airports in the world.
Haneda Airport: Tokyo, Japan
Haneda Airport, which received 87,131,973 passengers last year. It has renamed its International Arrivals Terminal to Terminal 3 to cope with the increase in international flights ahead of next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games. The government will add about 40,000 international slots before events start, and Terminal 2 will be renamed to avoid confusion.
Los Angeles International Airport
The world’s fourth-busiest airport, with 87,534,384 guests last year, knows its aging facilities can’t always keep up with the growing traffic. Therefore, in preparation for the 2028 Olympics, the possibility of adding “up to two new terminals and almost two dozen new gates to help cope with the influx of travelers is being considered. A $1.6 billion new concourse is also under construction, while renovations are also underway at the American, Delta and Southwest airline terminals.
Dubai International Airport
The bustling airport, which welcomed 89,149,387 passengers last year, is currently undergoing a much-needed facelift. Its southern runway was closed for maintenance during a seasonal lull when fewer travelers pass through. Among the improvements on the agenda: strengthening the runway and taxiways with 60,000 tons of asphalt.
Beijing Capital International Airport (Capital)
The sighting of 100,983,290 passengers passing through the Beijing Capital International Airport likely hastened officials’ plans to launch the new Beijing Daxing International Airport. The long-awaited facility aims to alleviate capacity issues that often lead to flight delays.
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Atlanta
Hartsfield-Jackson had 107,394,029 passengers last year, which is impressive by all standards. The airport is Delta’s main hub and a favorite with low-cost carriers such as Frontier and Southwest.