The ability to reach a destination by air was once a sensation. Today, it only takes a few hours to fly from one end of the world to the other. And it’s all thanks to airplanes. Sometimes strict conditions have to be met for a comfortable landing, and the size/quality of the runway surface is an important factor. Here’s a look at some of the world’s cleanest, most functional, and largest airports.
Welcome to…or the world’s biggest airports: Top 8 of the world’s biggest airports
|Nomination||location||Airport||Annual passenger traffic|
|World’s Largest Iceberg||8||Charles de Gaulle, Paris (France)||60 million. man|
|7||Hong Kong, China||68mpg. man|
|6||Frankfurt am Main (Germany)||70M. man|
|5||Schiphol, Amsterdam (Netherlands)||71mn. man|
|4||Heathrow, London (UK)||80 million. man|
|3||O’Hare, Chicago (USA)||83 million. man|
|2||Los Angeles (USA)||87 million. people|
|1||Hatsfield-Jackson, Atlanta (USA)||90-100 million. people|
Charles de Gaulle, Paris, France
Annual number of passengers: 60 million. people
Named after one of the French presidents, Charles de Gaulle airport is famous not only in Europe but around the world. Founded almost half a century ago, it is famous as one of the largest airports on the planet and is considered one of the best on the European continent: it is from here convenient to get anywhere in Europe. Moreover, there are 2 railway stations on the territory of Charles-de-Gaulle connecting the capital with any city of the country.
Futuristic in style, metropolitan French airport looks like something out of a science fiction novel. Many movies and music videos were shot right here.
The area of the complex is divided into three terminals. The first, designed in an avant-garde style, is intended for intercontinental flights. It is completely open for viewing: instead of blind passages there are transparent tunnels. The second one, originally built to serve the national airline AirFrance, is now available for any airline worldwide. And finally, the third one is for charter flights only.
Despite its fame, convenience and large number of passengers, the airport has had a bit of a bad name in recent years with numerous complaints from travelers who suffered luggage theft.
Hong Kong (“Cheklapcock”), China
Annual passenger traffic: 68 mln. man
The main and undoubtedly the best Chinese airport. It was opened quite recently – in 1998 and during this short period of time has become one of the best airports in the world. It’s one of the most expensive, big and beautiful airports in existence. Despite its giant size it is difficult to get lost here even for a novice traveler: there are all kinds of signs and services at every step.
Interesting fact Cheklapcock is built on the man-made island of the same name, where dozens of planes land every day, both passenger and cargo.
Hong Kong airport: a project of epic proportions. More than $20 billion was spent on its realization: Cheklapcock is a Guinness Book of Records member as the most expensive airport on the planet. Thanks to its partial location on an island, Cheklapcock has been substantially enlarged in size: the size of the air terminal is about 1200 hectares. The second terminal was built in 2007 and now houses a prestigious shopping mall with many boutiques and restaurants.
The runways have a total length of 3,800 kilometers and reach 60 kilometers in width: it is enough to accommodate any aircraft. Up to 60 planes land and take off every hour at Cheklapcock and Hong Kong airport is one of the world leaders in terms of passenger and cargo traffic.
Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
Annual passenger traffic: 70 mln. man
The German pride, the largest airport in Germany and one of the largest airports on the planet. By the way, it is worth noting that the road to the airport is not the closest. Nevertheless, the city authorities took care that guests of the country could get to the airport with comfort: not only buses but also trains run along special routes.
The two-terminal Frankfurt International is considered the continental hub for most of the major airlines in the world: more than 50% of the passengers who land in its terminals change flights. This is one of the largest international air hubs. It has a four-kilometer runway that can take the largest plane in the world – the Airbus A380.
The airport, also known as Rhein-Main Airport, offers its guests a variety of recreational areas, excellent shopping facilities, quality food, play rooms for children, its own cinema, a hotel right on the territory, etc. There are many signposts to help you get around the airport easily.
Schiphol, Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Annual passenger traffic: 71 million. man
beautiful panoramic viewpoints, a branch of the national museum with Dutch paintings, a library, a marriage registry office, an on-site casino, many stores, restaurants and tourist attractions, and even a morgue – the main airport in the capital can offer you anything you might need.
Schiphol dates back to 1916. But it was originally founded as an airbase, not intended for civilian traffic. It began to serve its present function only after World War I.
Interesting fact. In ancient times the site of the airport was the Harlemmer Bay, which was dried up in the middle of the 19th century.
Schiphol is considered Europe’s busiest airport, but it is so well-organized that even inexperienced travelers can feel comfortable there. And for those who feel fatigued by the rush and bustle of jet lag, or just before a flight, enjoy some time alone in the Meditation Center. This is a soundproofed space where you can meditate or pray. There is also a library with sacred books of various religions.
Schiphol is the lowest airport among European giants: it is located 3 meters below sea level. The airport is the 16th largest building on the planet with a total area of about 600000 m2. Throughout its existence, Schiphol has been voted best in the world many times.
Heathrow, London (UK)
Annual passenger traffic: 80 million. man
The famous airport is considered the busiest and one of the biggest in Europe. And this despite the fact that it does not have the best location. The fact that it is located at too low an altitude – only 25 meters above sea level. Because of this, its runways often disappear in the frequent London fog.
Built back in 1930, Heathrow was first known for having as many as 6 takeoff lines. There are currently only 2. But this is quite enough, because for many years the lanes were lengthened, gradually expanded. Their quality remained consistently high. Excellent proof of this is the close cooperation between Heathrow and almost a hundred airlines in the world.
The airport is designed for a maximum load of 40 million passengers a year, but in fact the figure is almost twice as high, which could not but cause overloading of Heathrow and frequent delays of departures. Hence the many negative reviews. In the next few years we are planning to solve the problem by building one more runway.
As far as the airport infrastructure is concerned, this is nothing to complain about. It offers numerous restrooms, prayer areas, restaurants, saunas, hairdressing salons, stores, etc.
O’Hare, Chicago (USA)
Annual passenger traffic: 83 million people
Built in 1943, O’Hare was originally a manufacturing plant for an American aircraft company. Named after the protagonist of a famous novel, one of the largest airports in the world is located in the Midwest and is considered one of the most “problematic”: the daily passenger traffic here is just crazy. But it is the route that causes the loss of quality of service: about 20% of all O’Hare flights are simply canceled. In 2005 the airport was a record-breaker of sorts, handling more than 1 million departures.
Although the majority of passengers travel exclusively on domestic air routes, Chicago airport has no problem flying to more than 60 destinations around the world.
The airport currently has 4 terminals in operation, but more are planned for construction in the future. This is due to the incredibly heavy load on the complex. For the same reason, city officials decided to reduce O’Hare passenger traffic in order to improve service quality and reduce the number of cancelled flights.
Interesting fact. The airport is partly connected to the city via a small strip of land less than 70 meters wide. It was included in the city’s territory for one reason and one reason only: so that the city authorities could control O’Hare’s operations.
Los Angeles (USA)
annual passenger traffic: 87 million. human
A truly gigantic yet incredibly simple and convenient airport – the largest in the city and one of the most functional in the country. The eight-terminals complex looks peculiar from above: the terminals are lined up in the shape of the Latin letter U, or well, a horseshoe. This is the airport where United Air headquarters is located
On November 1, 2019, the airport activated its new LAX-it system, designed to reduce congestion before entering the city’s air harbor. Passengers arriving at the airport had to use the airport shuttle to get to a designated area to hail an Uber or Lyft cab away from Terminal 1.
In fact, the system turned out to be so slow that it caused huge traffic jams (some passengers had to wait for their cars for about an hour). Airport officials apologized and promised to optimize the route and add road markings.
Colossal reconstruction work is also underway, with a record amount of nearly $4 billion in funding from nonprofit organizations for the city.
Hatsfield-Jackson, Atlanta (USA)
Annual passenger traffic: 90-100 million. people
Airport congestion is considered one of the most important indicators of its success. And so far, in this criterion, the Atlanta complex has been unparalleled in the world since 2007. It can confidently be called the largest in terms of passenger traffic. To understand the real scale of air travel at this hub, you only need to know a few facts.
First, three planes can land at once in Hatsfield-Jackson. Secondly, the airport handles 250,000 passengers every day. Third, the complex is 2,000 acres. If you add high quality service (based solely on user reviews), you get one of the best air harbors on the planet. Hatsfield-Jackson first opened its air doors in 1926 when a mail and baggage plane landed here.
For passenger comfort, a 24-hour parking lot was built on the airport grounds for 30,000. In addition, there are buses that run every 3-7 minutes. Hartsfield-Jackson is considered the largest complex in the world, and if you’re here for the first time, you can get lost.
The airport offers its guests a wide range of services to make waiting for a flight more comfortable. There are rest areas, separate rooms for sleeping, and mother and baby boxes where you can change, wash, and feed your baby, 24 hours a day. Travelers also have access to grocery stores, gift shops, food establishments, a dog-walking park, and free Wi-fi access with no traffic restrictions.