10 Biggest Airports in the United States
Top 10 Biggest Airports in the United States
Table Content

The List of top 10 biggest airports in the United States today

#1. Denver International Airport

#2. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

#3. Washington Dulles International Airport

#4. Orlando International Airport

#5. George Bush Intercontinental

#6. Salt Lake City International Airport

#7. O'Hare International Airport

#8. San Francisco International Airport

#9. John F. Kennedy International Airport

#10. Detroit Metropolitan Airport


Which is the biggest airports in the United States today?

As you prepare for your next trip, you may be trying to sort out which airports that you want to fly through and which you’d like to avoid. Most people try to avoid the busiest airports – but what about the biggest?

What are the largest airports in the United States? Sometimes the biggest airports in the US are also the largest in terms of size – but not always.

#1. Denver International Airport: 137.26 km² (33,917 acres)

When you ask “what are the biggest airports in the US”, you may expect Denver to be on that list – but not as the largest of all! It’s true – Denver may only be 5th in terms of how many people come in and out of it on a daily basis, but it’s the biggest in terms of sheer size.

10 Biggest Airports in the United States
Photo: Blacklane Blogs

DEN covers approximately 135.69 square kilometers (about 52 and a half miles) of area. It boasts 6 different runways, which are each spaced around 4,200 feet from one another for safety purposes. The airport’s largest runway is also the largest in the United States, with a length of 16,000 feet!

Denver International Airport is considered to be one of the best airports in the country in terms of travel, which is a big deal considering it was completed in 1995 and is one of the newest airports on this list. They started modernizing the two terminal, 89 gate airport in 2018.

#2. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport: 69.63 km² (17,050 acres)

Covering 69.63km² between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth in Texas, US, Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) has five terminal buildings with 165 gates in total. The airport is the 12th busiest in the world, serving 67 million passengers in 2017.

10 Biggest Airports in the United States
Photo: Complex

When the airport was built, it was designed with sufficient space to expand its capacity to accommodate 13 terminals with up to 260 gates. However, the amount of traffic required for an expansion of this scale is not predicted to be met in the near future.

There are five terminals named A-E at the airport, which are linked with the 7.74km-long Skylink automated people mover system. Skylink runs through DFW’s Express South car park to accommodate the future Terminal F that has been discussed between airlines and the airport owners.

10 Busiest Airports in the United States Today 10 Busiest Airports in the United States Today

#3. Washington Dulles International Airport: 52.6 km2 (13,000 acres)

10 Biggest Airports in the United States
Photo: WTTW

It’s not a surprise that Dulles, with its location on the Northern Virginia side of Washington DC, is one of the biggest airports in the US. With its 53 square kilometers (20 square feet), this airport sees around 22 million people on a yearly basis.

The airport is located 25 miles west of DC, and it only takes about 45 minutes to get into the city. There are 3 terminals, with 113 gates. It is considered to be one of the easiest airports to get around, because much of the foot traffic is within its main terminal.

#4. Orlando International Airport: 47 km² (11,609 acres)

10 Biggest Airports in the United States
Photo: The Disney Blog

DFW Airport spans 69.63 square kilometers between Fort Worth and Dallas in Texas. After five years of construction, the airport was opened for public use on September 23, 1973. It was completed for $2.7 billion and constructed with expansion in mind. The airport has five terminals and a total of 182 gates. DWF is so big that it has its police, Zip Code, emergency medical services, and fire protection unit. It is the world’s 10th busiest airport, serving flights to 260 destinations.

The site features a main landside building with two terminals A and B. Terminal A is the northern side of the building and leads to Airside 1 and Airside 2, while the southern Terminal B links to airsides 3 and 4.

#5. George Bush Intercontinental: 40.5 km2 (10,000 acres)

10 Biggest Airports in the United States
Photo: Transport Topics

George Bush Intercontinental Airport is Houston’s main airport, owned by the city of Houston and known for being the second largest hub for United Airlines. Almost half a million aircraft movements come in and out of IAH every year, carrying over 40 million people. The airport boasts 15 square miles of area (around 40 square kilometers).

IAH, due to its popularity and location, is one of the first airports to utilize United Airline’s contactless customer service system, allowing people to connect with agents without standing in line. They can use their mobile devices to video chat with a customer service representative.

#6. Salt Lake City International Airport: 31.1 km² (7,700 acres)

10 Biggest Airports in the United States
Photo: Airport World

Salt Lake International Airport is a military-civil international airport in Utah. It is located about 6.4 kilometers from Down Town Salt Lake City, spanning 31.1 square kilometers. Roughly 0.5 square kilometers is reserved for the military as Roland R Wright Air National Guard Base. It features three helipads, three terminals, and four runways. The airport is Delta Air Lines’ hub, with Terminal 2 reserved for KLM, Delta, and Sky West Airlines. The city of Salt Lake City owns the airport, while its operations are overseen by the Salt Lake City Department of Airports

What Are The Area Codes for The United States? What Are The Area Codes for The United States?

#7. O'Hare International Airport: 30.9 km² (7,627 acres)

10 Biggest Airports in the United States
Photo: Blacklane Blogs

O’Hare International Airport (ORD) spans 30.86km² in the north-west metropolitan area of Chicago. It is the busiest airport on this list and sixth busiest in the world, handling 79 million passengers and experiencing 867,049 aircraft movements in 2017.

There are seven runways at the airport and a further eight under construction, which are expected to be completed in 2020. ORD has four terminals and nine concourses. Terminals 1, 2 and 3 are mainly used for flights across the US and to destinations with border clearance, whereas Terminal 5 is used for all international arrivals, as it is the only facility on site with customs screening available.

#8. San Francisco International Airport: 21.07 km² (5,207 acres)

10 Biggest Airports in the United States
Photo: Eater SF

San Francisco International is one of four airports that serve the Bay Area, and it is the only one on this list of the largest airports in the US. This airport sits on about 8.5 square miles (21.07 km) of land, and is located around 13 miles south of the downtown area.

Because of its heavy foot traffic (around 55 million passengers yearly), this four terminal, 115 gate airport is known for being loud and difficult to get around. To help reduce the amount of noise in the airport, they started a quiet airport initiative, where they are using the PA system less (and written/digital options more) in order to communicate with passengers.

#9. John F. Kennedy International Airport: 21 km² (5,200 acres)

10 Biggest Airports in the United States
Photo: SOM

New York’s biggest airport is John F Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, spanning 21.04km² in the eastern borough of Queens. The airport has six terminals with 128 operational gates, four runways and four helipads. It handled 59 million passengers and saw 446,459 aircraft movements in 2017, which makes it the 27th busiest airport in the world.

Initially, the airport was known as New York International Airport and was renamed JKF Airport following the president’s assassination in 1963. Currently, the airport is North America’s busiest international air passenger gateway. JKF Airport has four runways and six passenger terminals and is a hub for two US legacy carriers; Delta Airlines and American Airlines. The passenger terminals are numbered 1 to 8, but skipping 3 and 6, demolished in 2013 and 2011 respectively.

#10. Detroit Metropolitan Airport: 19.6 km² (4,850 acres)

10 Biggest Airports in the United States
Photo: Skytrax

Located in Michigan, Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) covers 19.6km², featuring six runways and two terminals. It was originally constructed in 1929 on 2.6km² of land bought by Michigan’s Wayne County, which still owns the airport.

DTW handled more than 34 million passengers in 2017, and the US Federal Aviation Administration predicts that this will grow to approximately 60 million within 20 years.

The McNamara Terminal has three concourses with 103 gates, which are used by Delta Air Lines and its partners Aeromexico and Air France. There are 62 gates at Concourse A, including 12 for international boarding with ten of those featuring dual jet bridge loading and unloading to speed up deplaning. Concourses B and C at the terminal are connected to Concourse A by a tunnel that has a decorative color-changing light installation. The concourses are used for smaller aircraft operating on regional flights.

Which airport has the biggest amount of passengers in the US nowadays?

It is Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). There are over 300,000 people that are traveling in and out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport every day, making it not only the largest airport in the US but also the busiest airport in the world. That’s a mind-boggling number in action!

One of the ten largest urban areas, Georgia in the United States is located in its city area, which is considerably larger than the enclosing rural area. Additionally, it is about 250 miles distant from any other significant airport.

This airport serves as a key focus for Delta, the second-largest transporter in the United States and globally. Aside from that, the airport acts as a gateway to Latin America.

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