Air travel has become an essential aspect of our daily lives, with millions of people travelling internationally every year for business or leisure. In this discussion, we will explore the top airports in the world that handle the highest number of international passengers annually. From the vibrant hubs of Dubai and London to the bustling airports of Hong Kong and Tokyo, we’ll take a closer look at what makes these airports so busy and how they manage to accommodate such a massive influx of travellers. So buckle up and prepare to go through some of the world’s busiest airports!
The following are the top 10 busiest airports by international passenger traffic as of 2022, according to Airports Council International (ACI):
1. Dubai International Airport
Dubai International Airport (DXB) is the main international airport serving Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is the world’s busiest airport by international passenger traffic for the eighth consecutive year. In 2022, the airport served more than 66 million international passengers, a 127% increase over the previous year’s total of 29.11 million international passengers.
Dubai International Airport is an important transportation hub connecting Asia, Europe, and Africa. Emirates, Flydubai, and Etihad Airways are among the major airlines that use the airport. The airport handles over 1,100 aircraft per day and provides nonstop service to over 260 destinations globally.
What are some facilities available at DXB? Dubai International Airport provides a wide range of facilities for travellers. Some of the facilities provided at the airport include:
- Currency exchange, free WiFi, airport lounges, and duty-free shopping
- Banking services and ATMs
- Children’s play area, conference and business facilities
- Medical centre and prayer rooms
2. London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport (LHR) is the main international airport serving London, England. By international passenger traffic, the airport ranked as the second busiest airport in 2022, up from the seventh position in the previous year.
London Heathrow Airport served more than 58.24 million international passengers in 2022, a 230.5% increase over the previous year’s total of 17.62 million international passengers.
Over 80 airlines use London Heathrow Airport to operate to 185 destinations in 84 countries. The airport is a hub for British Airways as well as a base for Virgin Atlantic. There are four passenger terminals (numbered 2–5) and one cargo terminal.
What are some facilities available at London Heathrow Airport? Heathrow Airport boasts world-class facilities and colleagues to support at every terminal. Some of the facilities provided at the airport include:
- toilets and showers, charging points, trolleys and smoking points
- cash machines and postal services
- meeting rooms, multifaith prayer rooms and St George’s Chapel
- family facilities are available for those travelling with children or babies
3. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS), the main international airport in the Netherlands, is located 9 kilometres southwest of Amsterdam. It is the third world’s busiest airport by international passenger traffic for the third consecutive year. In 2022, the airport served more than 52.47 million international passengers, a 105.8% increase over the previous year’s total of 25.49 million international passengers.
Schiphol Airport serves as a hub for KLM and its regional affiliate KLM Cityhopper as well as for Corendon Dutch Airlines, Martinair, Transavia and TUI to fly to the Netherlands. EasyJet also has a base at the airport.
What are the facilities available at Schiphol Airport? Schiphol Airport offers a wide range of facilities for travellers. Some of the facilities available at Schiphol Airport include:
- Workstations, first aid, vaccinations, pharmacy and medical centre
- Showers, meet & assist service, and porter service
- Lost & found, luxury airport services (LAS), Privium lounges, sleep cabins and spa services
- Baggage sealing and storage, meeting rooms, currency exchange and free WiFi
- Available creative airport amenities such as a casino, transit tours, fitness facilities, a library and a museum
4. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is France’s main international airport and the primary airport serving Paris (and its metropolitan area). It is located in Roissy-en-France, 23 km (14 mi) northeast of Paris. The airport has three terminals and is named after statesman Charles de Gaulle.
Paris CDG Airport ranked as the fourth busiest airport by international passenger traffic in 2022, up from the fifth position in the previous year. In 2022, the airport served more than 51.76 million international passengers, a 128.9% increase over the previous year’s total of 22.62 million international passengers.
What are some facilities available at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport? Paris CDG Airport has a wide range of facilities, including:
- Lounges for relaxation and comfort
- PARAFE system available, which makes border control faster and easier
5. Istanbul International Airport
Istanbul International Airport (IST) is the primary international airport serving Istanbul, Turkey. It is situated on the European side of the city in the Arnavutköy district. The airport opened in 2018 and is expected to serve more than 200 million passengers by 2025. The airport has a total of six runways and four terminals. The airport is also home to the world’s largest duty-free shopping complex.
Istanbul International Airport was ranked as the fifth busiest airport in 2022, down from the second position in the previous year. The airport served more than 48.52 million international passengers in 2022, an 83.3% increase over the previous year’s total of 26.47 million international passengers.
Istanbul International Airport has a wide range of facilities and services available for passengers. Some of these include:
- The largest duty-free centre worldwide
- An impressive and distinguishing control tower inspired by tulips
- Top-grade services, latest technology security controls, high-tech facilities that enable boarding and checking-in processes, and environmentally friendly functioning
- The largest multi-floor parking worldwide that can accommodate up to 40.000 vehicles
- YOTEL Istanbul Airport Hotel for those willing to stay in the airport
6. Frankfurt Airport
Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is Germany’s main international airport by passenger numbers and is located in Frankfurt, the fifth-largest city in Germany and one of the world’s leading financial centres. It was the sixth busiest airport by international passenger traffic in 2022, down from the fourth position in the previous year. It is also Europe’s third busiest airport, after only London Heathrow and Paris-Charles de Gaulle. The airport has two main terminals (Terminal 1 and Terminal 2) and four runways. It is also home to the largest airport train station in Germany, which is located beneath Terminal 1.
Frankfurt Airport served more than 44.77 million international passengers in 2022, a 97.3% increase over the previous year’s total of 22.69 million international passengers. Frankfurt Airport has a wide range of facilities available for travellers. Some of these include:
- Parking Reservation and Travel Services
- Shopping and Restaurants
- Online Shop and Coupons for Flight & Travel Booking
- Tax Refund information
- Free WiFi access throughout the airport facilities
- Meeting points, pharmacies, and recharge stations for electronic devices
- Rest Areas in pleasant surroundings and comfortable lounge chairs
- Children’s Play Areas and Free strollers
- Nursing mother/ diaper-changing rooms
7. Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport
Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD) is the main international airport serving Madrid in Spain. The airport is the second-largest airport in Europe by land area behind Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport and the fourth-largest in Europe by passenger numbers. The airport is named after Adolfo Suárez, who was the Prime Minister of Spain from 1976 to 1981.
Madrid–Barajas Airport was ranked as the seventh busiest airport in 2022, up from the ninth position in the previous year. The airport served more than 36.23 million international passengers in 2022, a 136.2% increase over the previous year’s total of 15.34 million international passengers.
Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport is the first airport in Spain regarding passenger traffic, transport of goods and operations. It has four passenger terminals, an Executive terminal, an air cargo area, and two main hangar areas. The airport is well connected to the city centre with an underground Line: Nuevos Ministerios-Airport T4, city, intercity and long-distance bus lines and two suburban train lines that connect Terminal T4 with the city centre. There are also taxi services available with information on stops and fares.
8. Hamad International Airport
Hamad International Airport is an international airport situated in Doha, Qatar. It is the home of Qatar’s flag carrier airline, Qatar Airways. It offers seemingly endless shopping, dining and relaxation experiences for travellers.
Hamad International Airport was ranked as the eighth busiest airport by international passenger numbers in 2022, down from the sixth position in the previous year. The airport served more than 35.73 million international passengers in 2022, a 101.8% increase over the previous year’s total of 17.7 million international passengers.
What are some facilities available at Hamad International Airport? Hamad International Airport offers a variety of facilities for the comfort and convenience of its passengers. Some of these facilities include:
- ATMs that dispense cash in multiple currencies
- Foreign exchange stores that offer currency conversion of over 40 plus currencies
- There are also prayer rooms, hotel desks, and facilities for children & infants
- designated smoking rooms fitted with smoke extractors and comfortable seating
9. Singapore Changi Airport
Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) is a major international airport that serves Singapore and is one of the largest transportation hubs in Asia. It is located approximately 17.2 km (10.7 mi) northeast of the commercial centre in Changi, on a 13 square kilometres (5.0 sq mi) site.
Singapore Changi Airport was ranked as the ninth busiest airport by international passenger numbers in 2022, up from the 95th position in the previous year. The airport served more than 31.9 million international passengers in 2022, an increase of 101.8% compared to 2021.
Changi Airport has been ranked as the “World’s Best Airport” by Skytrax a dozen times and currently holds the title. It was the first airport to hold the accolade for eight consecutive years. More than 100 airlines fly continuously or direct from the airport to locations in Asia, Oceania, Africa, Europe, the Middle East & North America.
10. London Gatwick Airport
London Gatwick Airport (LGW) is a major international airport near Crawley, West Sussex, England, 29.5 miles south of Central London. Gatwick was the second-busiest airport by international passenger traffic in the UK, after Heathrow Airport in 2022. It has two terminals, the North Terminal and the South Terminal.
London Gatwick Airport served more than 30.14 million international passengers in 2022, an increase of 501.5% compared to 2021.
What are some facilities available at London Gatwick Airport? There are many facilities available at London Gatwick Airport. Some of them include:
- Passenger services: An A-Z of what they’ve got to help you on your way through the airport and the extra services they provide.
- Travelling with children: They’re a family-friendly airport.
- Special assistance: For those who need assistance travelling through London Gatwick.
- Airport upgrades: Get the VIP treatment for only £5.
- Airport lounges: Relax in one of their lounges for just £32.
- Internet & WiFi: Get online and stay charged at the airport.
- Lost property: They’ll help you find your lost item.
- Luggage services: Contact Excess Baggage.
- Chapel & prayer room: Visit their multifaith chapel.
Finally, the world’s busiest airports in terms of international passenger traffic play an important role in connecting people and increasing global trade and tourism. These airports are continually evolving to suit the ever-increasing demands of travellers, with cutting-edge facilities and technologies employed to provide flawless travel experiences. Airport authorities are working rapidly to make the process as smooth as possible for passengers, from security checks to immigration procedures. As the globe continues to become more globalized, these airports will surely stay at the forefront of international air travel, serving as gateways to many regions of the globe.