The List of Biggest and Busiest Airports in the US

Biggest and Busiest Airports in the US

Last Updated on Jul 10th, 2024 by Ankita Awasthi, Leave a Comment

Most tellingly, the biggest airports in the U.S. are the busiest airports during the holiday season. Since the air travel restrictions have been eased up after the two long Covid-19 pandemic years, the airline industry is rising above that ever.

Lately, flight scheduling has been so tight that the biggest airports in the U.S. have retrieved the title of the world’s largest aviation market back. Now, the U.S. houses many large airports, which are, in a way, the central hub for all the mainstream direct flight schedules and airlines.

With over 41,000 airports globally and still managing to stand out exceptionally is a benchmark in itself for U.S. airports. Globally, the traveler traffic has been calculated to be half of what it used to be just before the COVID-19 lockdown and flight booking restrictions. However, the approaching year 2022 is predicted to be bringing improvement in airport footfall with time.

But along with improvements in airport footfall, any flyer would seek to plan conveniently. Conveniently, MTI suggests a little, but apt research about all that one needs to know before planning their forthcoming trip. For instance, before booking their flight ticket, anybody would first inquire, “Which airport is the best at its services?” or, “How do I learn about the best airports near me? “

While this piece of information itself shall answer the former query, the latter could be studied in-depth by clicking on the given link for an answer. Doing so shall enlighten you about the nearest airport to almost all U.S. cities. Yes, you heard that right! Pretty cool, isn’t it?

Moving back to the blog, further, let’s learn about everything about the top biggest and busiest airports in the U.S.

Well, this could be a lesser-known but interesting fact that the U.S. bags several airports that fall on the world’s most extensive airport list. And while we all thought the biggest airports ought to be the busiest ones, it is not always true! Speaking of the contradistinction between the two, we can put it this way :

Busiest Airport in U.S.: Immense amount of flyer footfall

Biggest Airport in U.S.: the largest in dimension/size.

The Busiest Airports In The USA

There are various factors under which the airports can be ranked. One of the most common factors is the airport ranking based on passenger traffic engagement. The passenger traffic is decided by how many flyers have passed through an airport within the span of one year. Whether the passengers flying for international travel or domestic travel, both are counted for the stats. In 2019, the international passenger traffic count in the U.S. reached about 1.1 billion passengers. 

When we speak of the busiest airport, the first thing that strikes our mind is the airport topping that list must be the largest airport (surface area). Well, that is not always true! At least not in the case of U.S. airports. How is that, you wonder? 


Which Airport Is the Busiest In The U.S.?

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is the busiest airport in the U.S. The airport is not just topping the busiest airport list but is also ranked amongst the busiest airports in the world.

Adding to the list, there is Los Angeles International Airport, O’Hare International Airport, and a few other airports. Here is the list of the top-ranking busiest airports in the U.S.

Sr no Airports Passenger Traffic
1 Hartsfield–Jackson International Airport 103 million
2 Los Angeles International Airport 84.8 million
3 O’Hare International Airport 79.8 million
4 Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport 75 million
5 Denver International Airport 61 million
6 John F. Kennedy International Airport 61 million
7 San Francisco International Airport 56 million
8 McCarran International Airport 51 million
9 Seattle-Tacoma International Airport 50 million
10 Charlotte Douglas International Airport 46 million

1. Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Maintaining its reputation ever since its inception, the Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, with 103 million passenger traffic each year, has come a very long way. The favoring factors like the prime location, fast services, all major flight availability, and connectivity to almost every significant airport have added up to this airport’s charm. With all its provision and advancing factors, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has righteously cemented itself up at the top of the busiest U.S. airport list. 

According to the latest reports, the airport is a part of 150 domestic flights and 75 international flight schedules. This airport is also ranked among one the most efficiently planned and functional airports. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, in fact, is responsible for the employment of 10,000 airport workers within its premises. 

Popular Flights From Atlanta

2. Los Angeles International Airport 

The airport stands out as it tops the U.S. busiest airport list, with its sheer consistency in providing potentially best services. Comprising 84.8 million passenger traffic, the Los Angeles International Airport stands tall as the second busiest airport in the U.S. 

The airport serves far umpteen international passengers in the U.S. than any other U.S. airport, and hence it manages to shine bright with its services and various flight options.

Additionally, its Pacific Coast central location makes it a transportation hub for flyers flying from/to Asia. So, it will always be easier for Indian living in the USA to book their flight to India through Los Angeles International Airport if they reside in a nearby location. Additionally, having MyticketsToIndia travel assistance for your flight booking will lead you to your India’s trip in no time and effort. 

Currently, this airport serves eighty-eight international cities and 39 countries. And even though LACX is popularly known to cater the international flyers, it also provides flying access to 105 domestic cities. 

Popular Flights From Los Angeles

3. O’Hare International Airport 

Once upon a time, the Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) was the most traveled airport across the United States, but the ORD has seen a gradual downfall in its passenger traffic since the last few years.

Apart from being one of the busiest U.S. airports, the Chicago O’Hare airport is renowned for being a prime hub for American Airlines and for being the United Airlines headquarters. 

Having a base camp of two leading airlines has boosted ORD as an enormous and potentially efficient airport. It is currently possible to fly to 179 US cities and 54 destinations overseas across all continents.

Related – Things to do in O’Hare Airport

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4. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

American Airlines resting its headquarters at this airport has single-handedly boosted its popularity. Additionally, the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport’s varied options comprise 149 domestic flight schedules and 51 international destinations worldwide. With passenger traffic of 75 million, this airport stands firm as the fourth busiest U.S. airport. Interestingly, DFW is one of the largest airports in the US as well, and in fact, has its exclusive zip code. 

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5. Denver International Airport

Even though the Denver International Airport is the largest U.S. airport, it is still behind a few airports on the basis of passenger traffic statistics. Denver is, in fact, also the second largest airport in the world after the King Fahd International Airport of Saudi Arabia. In most probability, the passengers flying through Denver plan to land in one of the 180 domestic airports, and 14 international destinations that are in flight schedule collaboration with DIA.  

The passenger traffic of this airport is as high as 61 million, making it the fifth busiest airport in the U.S. Not only is this airport shining bright in the majority of top airport lists, but it also compromises North America’s longest commercial runway.

Talking of the current stats, Denver International Airport is a source of income for its 35,000 employees. As a matter of fact, giving in a source of employment to so many individuals has made this airport the highest source of job-providing airports in Colorado. 

Popular Flights From Denver

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6. John F. Kennedy International Airport

The current global and U.S. analysis data of Busiest airports comprise the John F. Kennedy International Airport in their respective lists. While the JFK airport is ranked as the sixth busiest airport in the U.S., it holds its position among the top 20 busiest airports in the world. Not just that, John. F Kennedy International Airport is acing the ‘North America’s Busiest Airports’ list.

The location of the airport also plays a vital role in its public and airline engagement. So, it being just 26 kilometers away from Manhattan city, just adds to the convenience of the flyer to head forth and book a flight ticket from JFK international airport.

Ever since its inception in 1848, the airport has been serving and collaborating with 90+ airlines and six continents. Additionally, the airport is also the official headquarters of two leading airline companies, Delta and American Airlines

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7. San Francisco International Airport

Located on the southern outskirts of San Francisco at a distance of 21 kilometers, the San Francisco International Airport has about 56 million passengers traffic in its airport. With such heavy footfall, the airline naturally manages to take its place on the ‘”top busiest airport in the U.S.” list. 

The San Francisco International airport significantly connects all the flyers to major Asia and European international flights with their services. Hence, the flyers planning to board a flight to India can now easily book their flights from this airport, in case they happen to be around the airport location. In case you need assistance with your flight booking, MyTicketsToIndia is here at your service. 

Speaking of the airport on the basis of the official airlines’ hubs, it is an official headquarter and sub-headquarters of two airlines, respectively. While it is the prime hub for Alaska Airlines hub and one of the five main hubs of United Airlines.  

Popular Flights From San Francisco

8. McCarran International Airport

Commenced in 1942, the McCarran International Airport settled to the eighth position in the “busiest airports in the U.S.” list. To date, the updated data of the passenger traffic is approximately 51 million. 

 McCarran International Airport is the only airport that managed to keep up a spot in the top ten list without being an official hub for any airlines. However, it serves as a base office for a few airlines in the U.S. 

Varied options to fly internationally or within the country boundaries enable travelers in the neighboring area to opt and fly through this airport. The dimension of this airport is as large as 11.3 kilometers square. 

9. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Acing the commercial airport list in Seattle, Washington, the Sea-Tac Airport is just 23 Kilometres away from the main city and is located in SeaTac city. Covering most international and domestic destinations like Europe, Oceania, Asia, the Middle East, and North America, this airport is also the biggest airport in the Cascadia boundaries. 

In fact, the airport’s current passenger footfall has an approximate count of 50 million, making it the U.S.’s ninth most busy airport. 

Like many others, this airline is also a prime headquarter for a leading airline company, Alaska Airlines. The fact that it also serves as the headquarter for such a leading airline industry attracts huge chunks of travelers to this spot. 

Popular Flights From Seattle

10. Charlotte Douglas International Airport

This might not be known to many readers, but when the Charlotte Douglas International Airport was commenced in the year 1935, it had been initiated under the name of Charlotte Municipal Airport. 

After 19 years of its functionality, the airports’ names were reconsidered and changed. The airport’s name was then kept to be Charlotte Douglas International Airport after the name of Ben Elbert Douglas-the mayor of Charlotte. 

This airport offers its major services related to commercial and military aviation. The CLT airport is also at a feasible distance of 10 Kilometers from Charlotte city. Adding up to its busy factor, the airport has around 700 flight schedules on daily basis. 

**The list shares the details of the busiest airport based on flyer footfall. 

How about the biggest airports in the U.S. in terms of dimensions? Read further and know about the list of biggest airports in the U.S.

Biggest Airports In The US (2021-2022)

Housing one-third of the world’s airports, The United States of America has around 19,000 airports within its geographical boundaries. Each of the 50 states and five governmental divisions has at least one exclusive airport for citizen convenience. 

Not just that, several U.S. airports are listed among the biggest airports in the world. In fact, five of the U.S. airports fall under the world’s biggest airport(by surface area) stat charts. With the U.S. having a massive bunch of airports, let’s further discuss the biggest airports in the U.S.

Sr no Airports Dimensions
1 Denver International Airport 137.26 km²
2 Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport 69.63 km²
3 Washington Dulles International Airport 52.6 km²
4 Orlando International Airport 47 km²
5 George Bush International Airport 40.5 km²
6 Salt Lake City International Airport 31.1 km²
7 O’Hare International Airport 30.9 km²
8 San Francisco International Airport 21.07 km²
9 John F Kennedy International Airport 21 km²
10 Detroit Metropolitan Airport 19.6 km²

1. Denver International Airport

This airport is not just the biggest airport in the US but is also the second biggest airport in the world after King Fahd International Airport. Spread across a surface area of 137.26km, The Denver International Airport is also a major source of income for a large lot of employees in its localities. 

Started in February 1995, the airport was finally constructed with a budget of around four point eight billion dollars, almost double the planned budget for the airport. Such expenditure is one of the major reasons this airport stands out and is one of the best airports in the US and globally. 

The new modernization project that was set in 2018 for adding in new check-in counters and commercial spaces is all set to be functional by January 2022. 

2. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport – 69.63 km²

At the time when this airport was planned, it was designed to accommodate the maximum number of passengers in a way that enables the maximum usage of the area. The airport is, in fact, so big that it currently comprises 13 terminals. 

This airport is so renowned, is also under the Terminal Renewal and Improvement Programme (TRIP). The TRIP is planning and executing new plans and development strategies with each passing year to keep the airport best at its services to their flyers. 

3. Washington Dulles International Airport 

Away at a minimal distance of 26 km from Washington city, this airport also comprises an exclusive underground passenger transport system. This underground passenger transport system is referred to as the AeroTrain, which connects the main terminal to the two different concourses, A and B. This facility is provided solely for their flyer’s convenience.

IAD is currently functioning through a four-terminal while the fifth terminal is under planning and executing construction in order to improve its working and area productivity. 

4. Orlando International Airport 

Spreading upon an area as big as 47 square kilometers, the Orlando International Airport comprises four terminals and four concourses. This airport was a military base previously, which was later made available for commercial and civil aviation services. The airport is not just famous for its size but is also renowned for its satisfactory, modernized, and quick services, but is also one of those airports in America that serves millions of passengers traffic. 

5. George Bush International Airport 

The George Bush International airport exists as Houston’s main airport. This airport spread across a surface area of 40.5 square kilometers and is, in fact, also the second in charge hub for United airlines9- a leading airline company. 

The airport comprises five enormous terminals to give its passengers sufficient space to co-exist while being at the premises. Out of all the five terminals, the D terminal is designated as the base for international flights. 

6. Salt Lake City International Airport

Covering an area of 31.1 square kilometers, the Salt Lake City International Airport comprises three main terminals. However, the US government has leased a part of the airport for military functionings. 

The airport is one of the major stops in its locality and is well equipped with up-to-date services. Being located just four miles away from the main city makes the airport a very viable option. 

7. O’Hare International Airport 

Standing firm in the metropolitan area of Chicago, the O’Hare International Airport is not just shining bright among the biggest airports in the US but is also one of the busiest US airports. 

Currently, this airport comprises 15 runways, seven completely functional, and the other eight under construction for future functionality. 

The airport has a surface area of 30.9 square kilometers and is the most preferred airport among all in 

8. San Francisco Intercontinental Airport 

Downtown San Francisco in California is just 13 miles away from this airport. Speaking of the surface area, the San Francisco Airport Intercontinental Airport enfolds the surface area of 21.07 square kilometers and attracts a huge lot of travelers and flyers. 

In totality, there are four terminals on the premises, and it is famous for being the largest airport in North America. 

9. John F Kennedy International Airport

John F Kennedy is New York’s biggest airport and stands ninth in the list of biggest airports in the US. 

The surface area of this airport covers about 21 square kilometers and comprises six terminals. Additionally, the airport also has four runways in total (all functional ) and four helipads. 

Interestingly, this airport was originally constructed and designed with the ten terminal plan, while it took a greater change in count once it was demolished later in time. 

The New Yorkers wishing to plan the trip to India can now easily reach MyTicketsToIndia travel experts and book their next flights to India, boarding through John F Kennedy airport.

10. Detroit Metropolitan Airport

The Detroit Metropolitan Airport stands tenth among the Biggest US airports and yet righteously maintains its grandeur repo amongst all the coexisting airports of the US. 

The Detroit Metropolitan Airport covers a surface area as large as 19.6 square kilometers and is located in Michigan. 

The airport offers such good services that the US Federal Aviation Administration assumes this airport carries strong growth potential.

Now that you know about all the whereabouts of the busiest and biggest airport, you can now choose the best airport to your convenience from the USA to India and India to USA. For cordial assistance for your next cheap flight tickets to India, feel free to get in touch with our travel experts at 1-585-948-0222. 

Related Topic- Airlines and Airports


Q. What airport has the most flights per day?

Ans: Comprising 29,479 flights reaching the airport, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport offers maximum flight boarding and landing options. 

Q. Which is the world’s largest airport?

Ans: With a surface dimension of nearly 300 square miles, the King Fahd International Airport, South Arabia, is the largest globally. Following that, the second largest airport in the world is the Denver International Airport, USA. Interestingly, it is the Denver International Airport is also the largest airport in the US.

Q. Which is the busiest airport in the U.S.?

Ans: Having approximately 100 million flyer footfall annually, the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport is acing the list of most busy airports in the U.S.

Q. How is Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport busiest airport in the world?

Ans: Due to factors like the airport location, services, and option and Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport being the official hub for Delta Airlines’ maximum flights, this airport is acing the busiest airports of the world stats.

Q. Which North American Airports are the busiest?

1Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International AirportAtlanta
2Los Angeles International AirportLos Angeles
3O’Hare International AirportChicago
4Dallas-Fort Worth International AirportDallas
5Denver International AirportDenver

About Ankita | View Posts

Ankita Awasthi has been a content writer for over half a decade now. She seeks to satiate her writing urge by charting creative blogs with up-to-the-minute information. In true wordsmith spirit, she believes that a creative head never sleeps! Her blogs constantly aspire to inspire readers to live their travel dream. Her writing genre covers Indian tourism destinations, offbeat locales and travel guides with focus on its rich art history, culture, heritage, nature trails and travelling attributes.

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