The Worlds Biggest Airports

January 21st, 2013

The Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport comes in at second place with 61.6 million passengers per year, with third and fourth very close between Hong Kong International Airport and Dubai International Airport. ; According to Dubai Airports chief executive officer Paul Griffiths, Dubai experienced 13.2 percent growth in passenger traffic in 2012, with 58 million annual passengers firmly giving it third position. ; “Moving into the top three is a fantastic achievement for Dubai International and we now have London’s Heathrow and the number one spot firmly within our sights,” Griffiths said in a media release.

In general, air traffic is slowly moving towards the east, with Asian airports growing faster than those in the west. ; Turkey is the ideal global middle ground in many ways, with the country recently launching a tender for the world's largest airport build in Istanbul. ; At an estimated cost of $9bn, this six runway project is designed to accommodate 150 million passengers per year, and when complete will eclipse both Atlanta and London in terms of passenger numbers. ;

Other new markets are opening up away from the traditional nodes, with South America the fastest growing market in 2012. ; Russia and the CIS region were in second place, with Australasia in third. ; In terms of international passenger numbers, the top ten global airports are now divided very evenly, with five European airports in the top ten and the other five located in Asia. ; Despite having the busiest overall airport, North America could only manage 16th spot for international passengers, with the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. ;

Bigger is not always better however, with large established airports often notoriously difficult to use. ; The latest Global Airport Rankings were unveiled at the recent World Airport Awards, with travellers from over 160 countries taking part in the annual airport satisfaction survey. ; Heathrow could only manage 11th spot, with the Incheon International Airport in South Korea getting top position. ; The Singapore Changi Airport came second in the survey, with Hong Kong International Airport third. ; With six spots in the top ten, newer Asian airports are not only getting busier every year, they are also more popular with international passengers. ;