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Top 10 Largest Airports (by Area) in the United States Today

Securing the fastest and most convenient domestic and international aviation routes is crucial for major airports. US airports serve as the starting or finishing points for a large number of international flights. You can save money by using a large airport instead of a small rural airport.

You might be attempting to decide which airports you want to fly through and which you should avoid as you get ready for your upcoming travel. The largest airports are often avoided by most travelers, but what about the busiest ones?

Which airports in the US are the biggest? Though this isn't always the case, the largest US airports are occasionally also the largest in terms of area.

Which US airport currently handles the highest volume of passengers?

The airport is Atlanta International Airport Hartsfield–Jackson (ATL). Every day, more than 300,000 passengers arrive and depart from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, making it the busiest airport globally in addition to the biggest in the United States. That's an incredible amount in action!

Georgia's city area, which is significantly larger than the surrounding rural area, is home to one of the country's ten largest urban areas. It is also roughly 250 miles away from every other major airport.

For Delta, the second-biggest airline in the world and the United States, this airport is a major hub. In addition, the airport serves as a point of entry into Latin America.

Top 10 Largest Airports in the US by Area - 2024 Report
Top 10 Biggest Airports in the United States

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

Top 10 Largest Airports in the US by Area - 2024 Report
Photo: Blacklane Blogs

Denver may be included in the list of the largest airports in the US when you ask, but it's not the largest one overall! It's true that Denver is the largest city in terms of sheer area, even though it ranks fifth in terms of daily population entering and leaving the city.

The total area of DEN is roughly 135.69 square kilometers, or 52 and a half miles. It has six distinct runways, each of which is safely separated from the others by about 4,200 feet. At sixteen thousand feet, the longest runway at the airport is also the longest in the US!

Considering that it was finished in 1995 and is among the newest airports on this list, Denver International Airport is regarded as one of the best travel hubs in the nation. In 2018, work on modernizing the 89-gate, two-terminal airport began.

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

Top 10 Largest Airports in the US by Area - 2024 Report
Photo: Complex

Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), which stretches 69.63 km2 between the Texas cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, is home to five terminal buildings and 165 gates overall. In 2017, the airport handled 67 million passengers, ranking it as the 12th busiest in the world.

The airport was planned with enough room when it was first constructed to support 13 terminals with a maximum of 260 gates. It is not anticipated that the volume of traffic needed for an expansion of this magnitude will be reached anytime soon.

The airport's automated people mover system, Skylink, spans 7.74 km and connects the five terminals, A through E. In order to accommodate the future Terminal F, which has been discussed by airlines and airport owners, Skylink passes through DFW's Express South parking lot.

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)

Top 10 Largest Airports in the US by Area - 2024 Report
Photo: WTTW

Given that Dulles is one of the largest airports in the US and is situated on the Northern Virginia side of Washington, DC, this is hardly surprising. This airport, spanning 53 square kilometers (20 square feet), handles approximately 22 million passengers annually.

DC is only 25 miles west of the airport, and it takes roughly 45 minutes to get there. There are 113 gates spread across 3 terminals. Because most foot traffic occurs within the main terminal, it is regarded as one of the easiest airports to navigate.

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

Top 10 Largest Airports in the US by Area - 2024 Report
Photo: The Disney Blog

DFW Airport is located in Texas, 69.63 square kilometers, halfway between Fort Worth and Dallas. On September 23, 1973, the airport opened for business to the general public following five years of construction. It was built with growth in mind and finished for $2.7 billion. There are 182 gates at the airport spread across five terminals. Because DWF is so large, it has its own fire department, police department, Zip Code, and emergency medical services. At 260 destinations, it is the tenth busiest airport in the world.

There is a main landside building on the property that houses terminals A and B. The building's northern side, Terminal A, connects to Airsides 1 and 2, while its southern side, Terminal B, connects to Airsides 3 and 4.

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

Top 10 Largest Airports in the US by Area - 2024 Report
Photo: Transport Topics

The primary airport in Houston, George Bush Intercontinental Airport, is owned by the city of Houston and is well-known for being United Airlines' second-largest hub. Every year, nearly 500,000 aircraft arrive and depart from IAH, transporting more than 40 million people. The airport occupies an area of 15 square miles, or roughly 40 square kilometers.

Owing to its prominence and strategic location, IAH was among the first airports to implement United Airlines' contactless customer service system, which enables customers to communicate with agents without having to wait in line. Customers can video chat with customer service agents via their mobile devices.

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

Top 10 Largest Airports in the US by Area - 2024 Report
Photo: Airport World

Utah's Salt Lake International Airport is a combined military and commercial airport. It covers 31.1 square kilometers and is roughly 6.4 kilometers from Salt Lake City's downtown. Roland R Wright Air National Guard Base occupies approximately 0.5 square kilometers and is designated for military use. It has four runways, three terminals, and three helipads. Terminal 2 of the airport is designated for KLM, Delta, and Sky West Airlines, and serves as the hub for Delta Air Lines. The Salt Lake City Department of Airports is in charge of managing the airport, which is owned by the city of Salt Lake City.

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)

Top 10 Largest Airports in the US by Area - 2024 Report
Photo: Blacklane Blogs

O'Hare International Airport (ORD) is located in the northwest Chicago metropolitan area and spans 30.86 km². With 867,049 aircraft movements in 2017 and 79 million passengers handled, it is the busiest airport globally and the busiest on this list.

The airport currently has seven runways, and eight more are being built; completion is scheduled for 2020. Nine concourses and four terminals make up ORD. While Terminal 5 is the only building on site with customs screening available, it is used for all international arrivals. Terminals 1, 2, and 3 are primarily used for flights within the US and to locations with border clearance.

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

Top 10 Largest Airports in the US by Area - 2024 Report
Photo: Eater SF

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

Due to its high foot traffic (approximately 55 million passengers annually), this 115 gate, four terminal airport has a reputation for being noisy and challenging to navigate. As part of a quiet airport initiative, they are communicating with passengers more through written and digital means and less through the PA system. This helps to lower the noise level in the airport.

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

Top 10 Largest Airports in the US by Area - 2024 Report
Photo: SOM

John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, located in the eastern borough of Queens, is the largest airport in New York, covering an area of 21.04 km². The airport features four runways, four helipads, and six terminals with 128 operational gates. In 2017, it saw 446,459 aircraft movements and handled 59 million passengers, ranking it as the 27th busiest airport worldwide.

Following the president's assassination in 1963, the airport was renamed JKF Airport from its original name, New York International Airport. At the moment, the airport serves as the busiest international passenger air gateway in North America. With four runways and six passenger terminals, JKF Airport serves as a hub for American Airlines and Delta Airlines, two US legacy carriers. Numbered 1 through 8, the passenger terminals omit 3 and 6, which were demolished in 2013 and 2011, respectively.

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

Top 10 Largest Airports in the US by Area - 2024 Report
Photo: Skytrax

Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) is a 19.6 km² airport with two terminals and six runways located in Michigan. The airport was first built in 1929 on 2.6 km² of property that Wayne County, Michigan, owned at the time.

Over 34 million passengers passed through DTW in 2017, and the US Federal Aviation Administration estimates that in 20 years, this number will rise to about 60 million.

Aeromexico, Air France, and Delta Air Lines utilize the three concourses totaling 103 gates at the McNamara Terminal. Concourse A has 62 gates total, 12 of which are for international boarding. To expedite deplaning, ten of these gates have dual jet bridge loading and unloading. Concourse A is connected to Concourses B and C at the terminal by a tunnel featuring a beautiful color-changing light display. Smaller aircraft that fly on regional flights use the concourses.

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