Top 10 Biggest Airports In The US

Biggest Airports In The US

Posted on 15th Sep, 2022 by Pawanpreet Kaur , Updated 5 months ago

Airport size may not always equate to efficiency, but it can be an indication of a city’s importance as a travel hub. The US airport system is the busiest in the world with the biggest airports in the US serving as the main hub for both domestic and international travel. There are over 19,920 airports in the US, which are managed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). They handle more than one-half of the world’s air traffic and more than two-thirds of international air traffic. In 2019, U.S. airports handled a record 1.1 billion passengers, almost 48 million tons of cargo, and 22 million aircraft operations (takeoffs and landings).

List Of Top 10 Biggest Airports In The US By Land Area 

Most of the largest US airports are located in or near major metropolitan areas. Here is a list of the 10 largest airports in the US, based on the total land area. 

1. Denver International Airport, Colorado

Airport NameDenver International Airport
LocationNortheast Denver, Colorado, U.S.
Area52.4 sq mi
OpenedFebruary 28, 1995
Major Airlines HubFrontier Airlines, United Airlines, Alpine Air Express, Bemidji Airlines

The biggest airport in U.S, Denver International Airport covers a total area of 53 square miles, making it larger than the city of San Francisco. The airport is also recognized as the 2nd busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic and aircraft movements. DIA was voted “Best Airport in North America” and “Second Best Airport in the World” in Skytrax’s 2018 global airport customer satisfaction survey. 

DIA is a major hub for United Airlines, Alpine Air Express, Bemidji Airlines, and Frontier Airlines and is the operating base for Southwest Airlines and Great Lakes Airlines. The airport currently has six runways and four concourses and is served by over 25 major airlines. From 1995 to the present, the airport has gone through huge expansions and has experienced record-breaking growth.  Today, being one of the largest airports in USA, DEN Airport has wonderfully outgrown itself to become an economic powerhouse in the country. 

Denver International Airport

2. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Texas

Airport NameDallas Fort Worth International Airport
LocationTexas, United States
Area27 sq mi
Major Airlines HubAmerican Airlines, Ameriflight, Southern Airways Express, UPS Airlines

A primary international airport serving the Dallas–Fort Worth metropolitan area in Texas, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport is the second biggest airport in U.S. The airport serves as a hub for American Airlines, Ameriflight, Southern Airways Express, and UPS Airlines with a focus city for Spirit Airlines and Sun Country Airlines. The airport is located mostly in Grapevine, Texas, but also includes portions of other cities including Euless, Irving, and Coppell. 

Since its inception, the DFW Airport has experienced substantial growth in terms of both passenger traffic and aircraft movements, making it one of the busiest airports in the USA. The airport is larger than the land area of Manhattan and grew from serving 50 million in 1994 to over 62 million in 2021. This huge airport has 5 terminals with 188 gates in total.  This huge airport has 5 terminals with 188 gates. Now years later, the Dallas Forth Worth International has exceeded the original capacity and is expecting to reach over 80 million passengers by 2023. 

Dallas International Airports

3. Dulles International Airport, Washington D.C.

Airport NameDulles International Airport
LocationDulles, Virginia, United States
Area20.3 sq mi
OpenedNovember 17, 1962
Major Airlines HubSouthern Airways Express, United Airlines

At 20.3 square miles, Dulles International Airport is a hub for business and tourism in the region. It is another biggest airport in U.S that serves as a hub for United Airlines and Southern Airways Express.  The airport was built to relieve overcrowding at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport and today the airport has substantially grown, handling over 24 million passengers (as per 2019 records). 

From the beginning. the IAD Airport has been committed to being true to the visionaries and implementations of the operator. Thus, successfully handled more than 27 million passengers in the year 2005 which is also the highest record of Dulles Airport till present. The airport is also undergoing an ambitious expansion program which will add new concourses in addition to more parking garages and hotels. This expansion program will help the airports for future growth and will also enhance passengers’ experience. 

Dulles International Airport

4. Orlando International Airport, Florida

Airport NameOrlando International Airport, Florida
LocationOrlando, Florida, United States
Area19.68 sq mi
Major Airlines HubSilver Airways

Located six miles southwest of Orlando, the MCO airport is the primary airport in the country serving more than 50 million passengers in a year. Today, it falls under the list of biggest airports in the US and serves as a major hub for Silver Airways with focus cities for JetBlue, Frontier Airlines, Avelo Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and Southwest Airlines. Delta Air Lines is the airport’s largest carrier by departures with nearly 40% of all flights and Southwest Airlines is the largest carrier by passenger traffic and by aircraft movements with 22% and 21% respectively.

The MCO airport is an extraordinary assest to the country which remains positioned for growth at low-maintenance costs. In 2019, MCO handled a record-breaking 51.4 million passengers, making it the busiest airport in Florida and the second fastest-growing major airport in passenger traffic. Under the leadership of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, the MCO airport has become a world-class airport today in continuation to remaining focused on growth and expansion. 

Orlando International Airport

5. George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Texas

Airport NameGeorge Bush Intercontinental Airport
LocationHouston, Texas, United States
Area15.6 sq mi
Opened8 June 1969
Major Airlines HubUnited Airlines

Located 23 miles north of Downtown Houston and handling more than 40 million passengers in a year, George Bush Intercontinental Airport is among the largest US airports. The airport has successfully solidified its position in the list of best airports in the country, recognizing Texas globally. The airport serves as a hub for United Airlines and is a focus city for Spirit Airlines. The airport is also set to keep up with the growing demand and maintain a competitive structure for its airline carriers. 

George Bush Intercontinental Airport is named after the 41st President of the United States, George Bush. The airport code of IAH comes from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, which was originally known as Idle wild Airport before being renamed in 1963. The airport is currently undergoing an expansion program that will be more efficient for passengers, adding more parking garages, a people mover system, gates, outdoor spaces, and shopping options. 

George Bush International Airport

6. Salt Lake International Airport, Utah

Airport NameSalt Lake International Airport
LocationSalt Lake City, Utah, United States
Area12 sq mi
Major Airlines HubDelta Air Lines, Alpine Air Express, Corporate Air

The airport with a strong on-time performance record, the Salt Lake International Airport is the sixth biggest airport in U.S. The airport was ranked by Condé Nast Traveler magazine as the 8th best airport in the United States and 20th best in the world in 2016. The airport is a hub for Delta Air Lines, Alpine Air Express, and Corporate Air. It is also served by many international airlines such as Air Canada, British Airways, Condor Airlines, Icelandair, Lufthansa, and Virgin Atlantic. 

The SLC is managed by the Salt Lake City Department of Airports and has been recognized as the 70th busiest in the world. With its redevelopment program of $4 billion, the airport is soon to give a better experience to its passengers through certain updates across the airport. The mission of planners is to develop an advanced transportation system that is safer and more convenient. Currently, it has four runways, covering around 7,700 acres, and terminals with a total of 46 gates. 

salt late international airport

7. O’Hare International Airport, Chicago

Airport NameO’Hare International Airport
LocationChicago, United States
Area11.9 sq mi
OpenedFebruary 1944
Major Airlines HubAmerican Airlines, United Airlines

Handling more than 60 million passengers in a year since 2000, O’Hare Chicago International Airport is among the biggest airports in the US. The airport is named after Edward “Butch” O’Hare, a World War II fighter pilot who was the first to shoot down five enemy planes in a single mission. O’Hare International Airport was originally built in 1942 as a municipal field for Chicago’s Midway Airport. The city of Chicago purchased the land for the airport in 1945, and it officially opened as an international airport in 1955.

Suggested Read:  List Of Top US Major Airlines Hub

At present, the airport serves as a hub for American Airlines and United Airlines in addition to a focus city for Polar Air Cargo and Spirit Airlines. O’Hare’s $8.5 billion project includes the construction of a new runway, a new terminal, and an automated people mover system. The airport is the state’s largest economic engine and is dedicated to bringing more flights, destinations, and airlines in the coming years.

O Hare International Airport

8. San Francisco International Airport, California

Airport NameSan Francisco International Airport
LocationSan Mateo County, California, United States
Area8.13 sq mi
OpenedMay 7, 1927
Major Airlines HubAlaska Airlines, United Airlines

Hub for Alaska Airlines and United Airlines, SFO Airport is the eighth biggest airport in USA and is the seventh busiest airport by passenger traffic in the country.  The San Francisco Airport is managed by the City and County of San Francisco. It is nicknamed “The City by the Bay” and serves as a major financial, commercial, and cultural center for the region. With over 8.13 square miles, features four runways and two passenger terminals along with numerous cargo facilities. 

SFO Airport is recorded to be the busiest international air gateway on the West Coast of the United States and sees over 55 million passengers annually. The airport is recognized as the 4th biggest hub for United Airlines and operates as United’s primary transpacific gateway. Located 13 miles south of downtown San Francisco, near Millbrae and San Bruno, it has flights to points throughout North America and is a major gateway to Europe and Asia. From the beginning, the airport is devoted to its mission and potential for continued success. 

San Francisco International Airport

9. John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York

Airport NameJohn F. Kennedy International Airport,
LocationJamaica, Queens, New York, United States
Area8.10 sq mi
Opened1 July 1948
Major Airlines HubAmerican Airlines, Delta Air Lines

One of the oldest yet one of the largest US airports, JFK Airport has jumped from serving 10 million passengers in 1960 to 60 million aviation customers in 2019. JFK’s non-stop service to hundreds of destinations has wonderfully supported the economic growth and employment of the country. In addition to its extensive flight network, JFK also offers a wide range of ground transportation options, making it easy to get to and from the airport. 

JFK is one of the most popular airports for New York City visitors, offering endless service to destinations around the globe. It is served by several mass transit rail lines, including the AirTrain JFK which connects passengers to Manhattan’s subway system. The airport has 9 terminals and four runways and is a major hub for both domestic and international travel. At present, it serves as a hub for American Airlines and Delta Air Airlines in addition to a focus city for Eeastern Airlines, LLC, Polar Air Cargo, Norse Atlantic Airways, and JetBlue.

John F. Kennedy International Airport

10. Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Michigan

Airport NameDetroit Metropolitan Airport
LocationRomulus, Michigan, United States
Area7.57 sq mi
OpenedSeptember 4, 1930
Major Airlines HubDelta Air Lines

Located in Romulus, Michigan, Detroit Metropolitan Airport is a major hub for both domestic and international flights and serves as a gateway to the Midwest. The airport offers a wide variety of amenities and services for travelers, including restaurants, shops, lounges, Wi-Fi, and a business center. It is also home to the Spirit of Detroit monument, which honors the city’s history and its people.

With handling over 36 million passengers in the year 2019, the DTW Airport is one of the busiest and largest airports in the US by land area. With Delta Airlines as a hub and Spirit Airlines as a focus city, the airport has 2 main terminals, 4 concourses, and 129 gates in total. The airport serves 30 destinations across the globe and 39 states within the country. So whenever flying to this one of the largest airports in the US, be sure to check what Detroit Metropolitan Airport has to offer. 

Detroit Metropolitan Airport

Frequently Asked Questions

A: The biggest airport in the United States by land area is Denver International Airport in Colorado (52.4 square miles). The airport has one main terminal with three midfield concourses and 165 gates in total. It is also one of the busiest airports in the country, handling more than 60 million passengers each year.

A: The busiest airport in the United States is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which saw over 110 million passengers in 2019. This was followed by Los Angeles International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport, which saw over 86 million and 79 million passengers respectively.

A: The top three largest airports in the United States, based on land area are Denver International Airport (DEN), Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), and Dulles International Airport (IAD). However, the names will vary if the passenger traffic and aircraft movements will be considered.

A: Texas has the two largest US airports by size which are Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) with a land size of 27 sq miles and 15.6 sq miles respectively.

As you can see, the biggest airports in the US vary greatly in terms of size, making Denver International Airport by far the largest in terms of land area. If you are looking to explore any of the above-mentioned airports in the United States, the best would be to get your flight tickets booked with us. We at Superfares are an IATA-Certified tour and travel agency that gives customers a memorable traveling experience. Our team of travel experts works round the clock to make sure you have the best one. All you need to do is, get on a call with us at +1-585-534-8844 or join our live chat to unlock heavy flight discounts and deals. Pick your phone now and get exploring like never before!


About pawan | View Posts

Pawanpreet is a versatile content writer and editor who enjoys experimenting with various niches of writing. Her keen eye for detail and love for thorough research helps her create high-quality content to outweigh clickbait. She extensively works for digital marketing and manages clients that range from travel to luxury goods. Her creativity is fueled by her love for learning new things, travelling, and the environment. Also, she is a free soul and an avid animal lover who believes in doing everything with a smile 🙂

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