Airports are essential to the world’s transportation system because they connect individuals and businesses worldwide. One way to figure out how busy an airport is is to count how many planes take off and land there. This is called the number of aircraft moves.
The number of planes that come and go from an airport can give you an idea of how busy it is, how well it works, and how important it is in the aviation industry. Most of the time, the airports with the most planes landing and taking off are hubs for major airlines, and they are usually near important transportation hubs or popular tourist spots.
In the next section, we will talk about the top 10 busiest airports worldwide based on the total number of landings, takeoffs, airlines that fly there, and why they are so busy.
The following are the top 10 busiest airports by aircraft movements as of 2022, according to Airports Council International (ACI):
1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Total Aircraft Movements: 724,145
Hartsfield–Jackson International Airport is the main international airport for Atlanta. Atlanta International Airport is the largest airport in the world in terms of aircraft movements and one of the busiest regarding passenger numbers.
Delta Air Lines, one of the biggest companies in the world, has a big hub in Atlanta. Because of this, many Delta routes connect at ATL, which makes more planes move.
Atlanta is a popular place for business and tourists, and many companies and organisations are based there. So naturally, this makes a lot of people want to fly, so more planes are coming in and out of the airport.
ATL has five straight runways that let many planes take off and land simultaneously. This enables the airport to handle a lot of planes without a lot of waiting.
The airport has added things like automatic security screening and self-check-in kiosks to make things run more smoothly and reduce wait times. These steps help speed up airport processes and allow them to handle more plane moves.
2. O’Hare International Airport
- Total Aircraft Movements: 711,561
O’Hare International Airport (ORD), on the Northwest Side of Chicago, is the city’s largest international airport. The airport is in an area with many companies, people who live there, and travellers. It is a hub for both domestic and foreign flights because of this.
As of November 2022, nonstop flights from O’Hare International Airport go to 214 places in North America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Oceania, and the North Atlantic. People say that the airport is the most linked in the world.
Several big airlines, such as American Airlines and United Airlines, use O’Hare International Airport as a hub. Because of this, many trips go through the airport, making more planes come and go.
Several parallel tracks at O’Hare International Airport can be used simultaneously, making better use of the airport’s space. This means that more planes can take off and land in less time.
One of the biggest cargo airports in the world is O’Hare International Airport. Companies like FedEx and UPS do a lot of business there. This makes the airport have even more planes take off and land.
The air traffic control system at O’Hare International Airport is very advanced, making it easier to track all the planes. This lets more planes move around while keeping everyone safe and reducing wait times.
3. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
- Total Aircraft Movements: 656,676
Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), the second biggest U.S. airport by land size, is between the Texas cities of Dallas and Fort Worth. This makes connecting flights between the East and West coasts a great place. It is Texas’s largest airport. It helps people in the bigger Dallas–Fort Worth area. Also, DFW is close to big oil and gas hubs like Houston and Oklahoma City, which brings a lot of business travellers to the airport.
American Airlines’ biggest hub is DFW, where more than 900 flights go to more than 230 places worldwide daily. In addition, UPS Airlines and Ameriflight both use the airport as a hub. This makes DFW an important airport for domestic and foreign flights and is a big reason the airport sees so many planes.
One of the places in the USA that is growing the fastest is the Fort Worth-Dallas metroplex. It has a strong economy and is getting more people. This rise has made more people want to fly, so more planes are taking off and landing at DFW.
DFW has four tracks that can handle even the biggest planes today. This infrastructure makes air traffic run more smoothly and reduces traffic, so more planes can move around.
4. Denver International Airport
- Total Aircraft Movements: 607,786
Denver International Airport (DEN), which is the biggest airport in the USA by land size, serves a large catchment area. This area includes the entire Rocky Mountain region of the United States, which includes several large cities like Denver, Colorado Springs, and Salt Lake City. The airport has six tracks, which gives it enough space to handle a lot of planes at once.
Because of where it is, DEN is a good place to stop for planes between the East & West Coasts of the U.S. and between North America and Asia.
Several big airlines, like United Airlines, Southern Airways Express, and Frontier Airlines, use Denver International Airport as a hub for their operations. This means that a lot of flights go through DEN.
Denver is a big business centre, and a lot of companies have their main offices or headquarters there. Because of this, business travel makes up a big part of the flow at DEN.
Tourists and people who like being outside often go to the Rocky Mountains, and Denver is a good starting point for getting to several famous ski resorts and national parks in the area.
5. Las Vegas Airport
- Total Aircraft Movements: 581,116
McCarran International Airport is also known as Las Vegas Airport. The airport functions as a gateway for visitors to Las Vegas, which is a popular tourist destination. Additionally, it is a significant gateway for airlines serving the western United States.
Las Vegas is a prominent destination for conventions and trade shows, which can attract many air travellers. In addition, each year, the city’s wagering industry draws millions of tourists, most of whom arrive by air.
Las Vegas is renowned for its concerts, shows, and sporting events, frequently attracting large audiences and necessitating a high volume of air travel.
The airport has invested in efficient operations and technology to expedite air traffic control and reduce delays, thereby increasing aircraft movements.
6. Los Angeles International Airport
- Total Aircraft Movements: 556,913
LA International Airport is the primary international airport servicing Los Angeles, California and its surrounding metropolitan area. Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), a division of the Los Angeles city government that also administers Van Nuys Airport for general aviation, operates the airport.
It is one of the globe’s busiest airports, with numerous runways, entrances, and terminals. It is a hub for several significant airlines and a gateway to international destinations. This permits many aircraft and passengers to transit to the airport.
Los Angeles is a prominent tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors annually. So naturally, this increases demand for flights into and out of LAX, especially during prime travel seasons.
Numerous professionals travel to and from Los Angeles for work, as the city is a significant industrial and commercial hub. This contributes to the high number of aircraft movements at Los Angeles International Airport.
The unique configuration of LAX’s runways permits simultaneous takeoffs and landings on separate runways. This increases the airport’s aircraft movement capacity.
Year-round favourable weather conditions at LAX allow many flights to operate regularly.
7. Charlotte Douglas International Airport
- Total Aircraft Movements: 505,589
Charlotte, North Carolina, United States, is the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) location. Charlotte Douglas, which the city’s aviation department administers, is the main airport for commercial and military use in the Charlotte metropolitan area. The airport provides nonstop service to 180 global destinations and is home to eight main airlines, fifteen regional airlines, and three foreign flag carriers. In 2022, Charlotte Douglas International Airport served nearly 48 million passengers and oversaw more than 505,558 arrivals and departures.
CLT is a significant gateway for American Airlines, so many flights originate, terminate, or connect at CLT. American Airlines operates over 700 daily flights from CLT, considerably contributing to the airport’s high aircraft traffic.
Charlotte is one of the United States fastest-growing cities, with a robust economy and an expanding population. Consequently, the high demand for air travel to and from Charlotte contributes to the airport’s high aircraft traffic.
CLT has made substantial infrastructure investments to accommodate the increasing demand for air travel. As a result, the airport can accommodate up to 50 million passengers annually with four runways and a new terminal. The efficient operations and modern facilities at the airport have also contributed to the high number of aircraft movements.
CLT is also a hub for regional airlines, such as American Eagle, which provide access to smaller communities in the region. This regional connectivity also contributes to the airport’s high number of aircraft movements.
8. Miami International Airport
- Total Aircraft Movements: 458,478
Miami International Airport is the main airport servicing the greater Miami metropolitan area, with more than 1,000 flights a day to 167 local and foreign destinations, including most countries in Latin America.
American Airlines’ third-largest gateway, Miami International Airport, is a significant presence for the airline. This implies that a large number of flights route through Miami, resulting in a high number of aircraft movements.
No other U.S. airport offers more flights to and from Latin America and the Caribbean than Miami International Airport. With nearly 100 airlines flying to Miami International Airport from U.S. and international cities, locating a nonstop flight and planning your next trip to Greater Miami & Miami Beach is simple.
In the southeastern United States, Miami functions as a gateway between North and South America. It is also a prominent tourist destination, which makes it an air traffic hub.
Miami is also a significant business hub, with the headquarters of numerous multinational corporations. This results in substantial business travel, contributing to the airport’s high number of aircraft movements.
9. John F. Kennedy International Airport
- Total Aircraft Movements: 448,847
John F. Kennedy International Airport is New York City’s primary international airport. The airport is the ninth-busiest airport in the world and the busiest international air passenger gateway into North America. The airport is served by more than ninety airlines with continuous or direct flights to all six inhabited continents.
JFK is among the world’s greatest airports, with four runways and six terminals. As a result, it can accommodate many aircraft movements, making it an attractive airline option.
JFK is a junction for American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and JetBlue’s primary operating base. These airlines offer connections to numerous domestic and international destinations, which can increase aircraft movements at JFK. In addition, JFK previously served as a centre for Pan Am, TWA, Eastern, National, and Tower Air.
New York metropolis, the largest metropolis in the United States, is a popular tourist destination and economic centre. As a result, many tourists and business travellers use JFK, contributing to the airport’s high number of aircraft movements.
The City of New York owns JFK, but the ports of New York & New Jersey are in charge of running it. It invests significantly in the airport’s infrastructure and technology to ensure smooth operation. This support from the government is crucial to JFK’s capacity to manage a high volume of aircraft movements.
10. Istanbul Airport
- Total Aircraft Movements: 425,890
Istanbul Airport is the largest international airport that serves the Turkish city of Istanbul. Istanbul is in a good spot between Europe and Asia, which makes it a popular place for planes to stop. In addition, this location makes it easy for airlines to connect people from different countries, increasing the demand for flights and leading to many planes moving around.
Istanbul Airport is a new, modern airport that replaced Istanbul Ataturk Airport in 2018. It opened in 2018. The new airport has more space and better facilities, which will help airlines to add more flights and lead to more planes moving around.
Turkish Airlines, the country’s main airline, is home at Istanbul Airport. This means that many Turkish Airlines flights meet in Istanbul, which is one reason the airport sees so many planes.
Turkey is a famous place for tourists, and Istanbul is a big draw for them. Because of this, carriers have added more flights to Istanbul to keep up with the growing number of people who want to visit the city. This has led to more aircraft movements.
The fast growth of Turkey’s economy has led to more work trips to Istanbul. In addition, business travellers often choose to fly, which means there are more flights and more moves of planes.
In conclusion, The world’s busiest airports in terms of aircraft movements are significant transportation hubs that facilitate the shipment of millions of passengers and tonnes of cargo annually. These airports utilise advanced technologies and procedures to manage the high flight volume and guarantee the safety and efficiency of air travel. As air travel continues to gain prominence and demand, these airports will continue to play vital roles in the global transportation network.