Top Busiest Airports in the World by Passenger Traffic

The Busiest airports by passenger traffic in the world serve as major connecting hubs for travelers around the globe. Besides that, the list below includes airports ranked by passenger volume. In fact, the ranking is based on figures from the last report provided by Airport Council International in 2021. After all, because of the COVID crisis, which primarily impacted the airline industry, a lot has changed since the 2019 report. Consequently, the current ranking predominantly features airports located in the USA.

European and Asian behemoths such as London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Beijing Capital, Dubai International, and Tokyo Haneda left off the list of the world’s busiest airports. So, let’s get started on this topic and learn more about it in detail.

Top Busiest Airports by Passenger Traffic in the World

1. Hartsfield- Jackson Atlanta international Airport US

Hartsfield Jackson Airport has been the world’s busiest airports by passenger traffic since 2000. Despite the pandemic, it retained the title and served nearly 76 million passengers in 2021. Therefore, it locks up the first place for the busiest airport in the world by aircraft movements. Additionally, it serves as the prime hub for Delta Airlines, which operates 72 percent of its flights.

2. Denver International Airport

Denver Airport ranks as the world’s third busiest, with nearly 59 million passengers in 2021 and the second largest by surface area. Moreover, the Colorado airport is Southwest Airlines’ largest operational base, as well as a major hub for United and Frontier Airlines. Similarly, one distinguishing feature of this airport is its architecture, which includes white roof towers. In fact, the design garners admiration against the snowy backdrop of the nearby Rocky Mountains and floods the airport with abundant natural light.

3. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport is American Airlines’ largest hub, serving 62 million passengers in 2021. However, this American airport is also the third busiest airports by passenger traffic. It is the ninth busiest international portal in the US, and second busiest gateway in Texas.

4. Los Angeles International Airport

In 2021, the airport served more than 48 million passengers, making it the fifth busiest airport in the world. At the same time, it is also the sixth busiest airport in terms of air traffic movements. LAX serves as a major hub for international flights to and from North America, South America, and Asia. As the east coast’s largest airport, it serves as a hub for all major international airlines.

5. Chicago OHare International Airport, Illinois, US

Chicago OHare was the most operated airport in the world between 1963 and 1998. In 2021, more than 54 million passengers will arrive. That is why; it is the fourth busiest airports by passenger traffic globally. As per ACI data, it is also the second busiest airport in the world by aircraft movements. Hence, after becoming a symbol in the jet area between 1960 and 1970, America’s second largest airport has remained an innovator. Not to mention, United Airlines relies heavily on ORD as a major hub.

6. Charlotte Douglas International Airport

Charlotte Douglas is an intriguing contender in the current rankings. It did, however, allocate more than 43 million passengers in 2021, an impressive number of North Carolina flights. Charlotte oversees all major American airlines and demands serious consideration. After all, there is a large project underway that will add 336,000 square feet to the airport’s surface area.

7. Orlando International Airport

The airport in Orlando served over 40 million people in 2021. Thus winning the 7th position in the ranking. In addition, it is also the fifth largest airport in the world according to square kilometers. Orlando was previously a military base known as McCoy Air Force Base, which is where IATA codes originate. The current airport only serves as a hub for Silver Airways and serves as a hub for many domestic flights for Jet Blue, South West, and Silver Airways.

8. Guangzhou, Baiyun International Airport, Canada

Guangzhou International Airport surpasses Shanghai International Airport to take the eighth-busiest airport ranking in China. In 2021, this Chinese behemoth handled 40.2 million passengers, and when the pandemic struck in 2020, it was in fact the world’s busiest airport. China Southern Airlines, FedEx Express, Air Hainan Airlines, and Shenzhen Airlines all use Baiyun Airport as hubs. The Chinese airport, situated in Southern China’s Guangdong province, derives its IATA code from the Latinized version of Guangzhou.

9. Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport (SZX)

Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport is the 9th busiest airports by passenger traffic, handling over 58 million passengers. Additionally, it is China’s second busiest airport. China’s Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport serves as a significant hub for China Southern Airlines.

10. Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU)

Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is the tenth busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic. Not to mention, it handles over 57 million passengers in 2023. It is also the third busiest airport in China. Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, located in Chengdu, China, is a major hub for Air China. Today, Air China, Sichuan Airlines, and Chengdu Airlines all have major hubs at the second busiest airport in China.


Here is all the information regarding the busiest airports by passenger traffic in the world. Furthermore, these airports play an important role in the global economy and transportation system. In fact, they facilitate global connections between individuals and locations, as well as a broad spectrum of businesses and industries. Lastly, the busiest airports are also significant employers and the lifeblood of their local economies.

We hope that this information has helped you learn more about the world’s most popular airports. Therefore, bear all of this in mind when going to any of these airports.

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