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The top 20 busiest airports in the world by aircraft movements

Posted: 11 February 2020 | | 1 comment

In this article, we review which airports had the highest number of aircraft movements in 2019, based on the total number of landings and take-offs.

The following list is based on figures from Airports Council International (ACI) and displays the top 20 airports in order of total aircraft movements in 2019. Figures are calculated by totalling all aircraft landings and take-offs at each airport throughout the course of the year.

This article was updated on 5 June 2020, based on figures published on 19 May 2020.

View of Chicago O'Hare International Airport's runway1. Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

Located on the Northwest Side of Chicago, Illinois, O’Hare International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world and one of the most significant transportation hubs in the U.S.

Total aircraft movements: 919,704

Compared to 2018: 1.8 per cent decrease

View of Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport's runway2. Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

Acting as the primary international airport serving Atlanta, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest airport in the world by passenger number and second busiest by aircraft movements.

Total aircraft movements: 904,301

Compared to 2018: 1.0 per cent decrease

Arial view of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport3. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)

Located across two counties due to its size, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is the largest hub for American Airlines and tenth busiest airport by passenger number.

Total aircraft movements: 720,007

Compared to 2018: 7.9 per cent increase

Arial view of Los Angeles International Airport4. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Located along the West Coast of the U.S., Los Angeles International Airport is a gateway to multiple international destinations, particularly Asia and the Pacific.

Total aircraft movements: 691,257

Compared to 2018: 2.3 per cent decrease

Denver International5. Denver International Airport (DEN)

Generating over $26 billion for the region of Colorado each year, Denver International Airport is the fifth-busiest airport in the U.S., the world’s largest aviation market. 

Total aircraft movements: 631,955

Compared to 2018: 6.1 per cent increase

Beijing Capital International Airport6. Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK)

Built to resemble a dragon, Beijing Capital International Airport is the primary international airport serving Beijing and is home to the second largest passenger terminal in the world.

Total aircraft movements: 594,329

Compared to 2018: 3.2 per cent decrease

Plane taking off from Charlotte Douglas International Airport7. Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)

Charlotte Douglas International Airport is a civil-military airport located in North Carolina and is financially operated on a fully self-sustaining basis.

Total aircraft movements: 578,263

Compared to 2018: 5.1 per cent increase

Airplanes on the runway at McCarran International Airport8. Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS)

Located in Paradise, Nevada, McCarran International Airport is the main airport for public and military use in the Las Vegas Valley.

Total aircraft movements: 552,962

Compared to 2018: 2.4 per cent increase

Amsterdam Schiphol9. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)

Acting as the main international airport for the Netherlands, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is Europe’s best-connected cargo handling airport, with the most direct air destinations.

Total aircraft movements: 515,811

Compared to 2018: 0.4 per cent decrease

Arial view of Frankfurt Airport10. Frankfurt Airport (FRA) 

Located in the fifth largest city in Germany and operated by Fraport, Frankfurt Airport acts as a hub for multiple German and European cargo companies.

Total aircraft movements: 513,912

Compared to 2018: 0.4 per cent increase

Shanghai Pudong11. Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG)

One of two international airports in the region, Shanghai Pudong International Airport is a major hub in the Chinese aviation industry, serving predominantly international flights. 

Total aircraft movements: 511,846

Compared to 2018: 1.4 per cent increase

Guangzhou12. Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN)

The primary airport serving Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province in China, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport is China’s largest transportation hub.

Total aircraft movements: 491,249

Compared to 2018: 2.9 per cent increase

Paris Charles De Gaulle13. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)

Named after a former French president, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is the largest international airport in France and also referred to as Roissy Airport.

Total aircraft movements: 482,676

Compared to 2018: 1.1 per cent decrease

George Bush Intercontinental Airport14. George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)

Part of the three-airport Houston Airport System, George Bush Intercontinental Airport serves as the premier long-haul international airport facility within the region.

Total aircraft movements: 478,070

Compared to 2018: 2.4 per cent increase

Arial view of London Heathrow Airport15. London Heathrow Airport (LHR)

One of six airports located in London, the largest aviation hub in the world, London Heathrow Airport is the UK’s largest airport – welcoming over 80 million passengers in 2019.

Total aircraft movements: 478,002

Compared to 2018: 0.1 per cent increase

Indira Ghandi Delhi16. Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL)

Indira Gandhi International Airport serves as the major international aviation hub of the capital city of New Delhi, as well as India as a whole. 

Total aircraft movements: 466,452

Compared to 2018: 0.3 per cent decrease

Plane taking off from Mexico City International Airport17. Mexico City International Airport (MEX)

Mexico City International Airport, officially known as Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juárez, is the busiest airport in Mexico and Latin America by passenger number and aircraft movements.

Total aircraft movements: 459,987

Compared to 2018: 0.3 per cent increase

Arial view of San Francisco International Airport18. San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

San Francisco International Airport is an enterprise department of the City and County of San Francisco and acts as a major U.S. gateway to Europe and Asia.

Total aircraft movements: 458,496

Compared to 2018: 2.5 per cent decrease

Tokyo Haneda19. Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND)

One of two primary airports serving the Greater Tokyo Area, Haneda Airport handles significantly more domestic flights, compared to international flights.

Total aircraft movements: 458,368

Compared to 2018: 1.1 per cent increase

Phoenix Deer Valley Airport20. Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (DVT)

Phoenix Deer Valley Airport is a public airport in Maricopa County, Arizona. It is owned by the City of Phoenix and acts as a reliever airport for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX).

Total aircraft movements: 456,790

Compared to 2018: 10.0 per cent increase

Passenger numbers

To view the top 20 busiest airports in the world by passenger number – click here.

Cargo handled 

To view the top 20 busiest airports in the world by tonnes of cargo handled – click here.

One response to “The top 20 busiest airports in the world by aircraft movements”

  1. Yasser Shebib says:

    Very interesting informative news. I always thought Chicago O’Hare airport is the busiest, but these news are changing concepts. Even Dubai’s Airport is not in the ranking.
    Thank you

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