Aviation: Egypt’s Cairo International Airport ranks No 1 in Africa and 9th among largest airports in the world

CAIRO

With a total land area of 36.25 square kilometers, Cairo International Airport has been ranked as the largest airport in Africa and the only African airport to appear in the list of world’s biggest airports, coming in at number nine.

In a review of the 10 Biggest Airports in the World, published on constructionkenya.com, updated by Joy Makena, King Fahd International Airport in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, ranks as the largest airport in the world with a total area of 776 square kilometers and a terminal area of 3.52 million square feet.

Below is the list of the 10 Biggest Airports in the World in terms of total airfield size in square kilometers.

List of the World’s Largest Airports:
1. King Fahd International Airport (776 sq. km) – Saudi Arabia
2. Denver International Airport (135.71 sq. km) – United States
3. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (69.63 sq. km) – United States
4. Orlando International Airport (53.83 sq. km) – United States
5. Washington Dulles International Airport (48.56 sq. km) – United States
6. Beijing Daxing International Airport (47 sq. km) – China
7. George Bush Intercontinental Airport (44.51 sq. km) – United States
8. Shanghai Pudong International Airport (39.88 sq. km) – China
9. Cairo International Airport (36.25 sq. km) – Egypt
10. Suvarnabhumi Airport (32.4 sq. km) – Thailand

1. King Fahd International Airport
Located 31km northwest of Dammam, Saudi Arabia, King Fahd International Airport has been the biggest airport in the world since its opening in November 1999.

It is named after Fahd bin Abdulaziz who ruled Saudi Arabia from 1982 until his death on August 1, 2005.

The airfield, which is also known as Dammam International Airport, is the largest airport in the world with a total area of 776 square kilometers and a terminal area of 3.52 million square feet.

READ: Africa: Egypt opens two new museums at Cairo airport to tell Egyptian history and boost tourism

King Fahd International Airport is the hub for SaudiGulf Airlines, Flynas, and Saudia. Saudi Aramco Aviation, the state-owned oil giant, also flies in and out of the world’s largest airport.

The airport, which handles more than 10 million passengers each year, is served by two runways – both 4km long – and three terminal buildings: Passenger Terminal (used by ordinary travellers); Aramco Terminal (used by Aramco staff to board its flights); and Royal Terminal used by the Saudi royal family.

2. Denver International Airport
Denver International Airport is the biggest airport in North America – and the second largest airport in the world – in terms of total property area. It is located 40km from Denver, Colorado.

DIA, which was opened in 1995, has a total area of 135.71 square kilometers. The airport is served by one main terminal – Jeppesen Terminal – with a built-up area of over 1.5 million square feet.

READ: Africa: Cairo, Hurghada selected among top 100 tourist destinations

Jeppesen Terminal is being upgraded to serve up to 100 million passengers per year. This is important considering that more than 69 million passengers passed through the airport in 2019.
Denver International Airport is the hub for Frontier Airlines and United Airlines and an operating base for Southwest Airlines. DIA is the biggest employer in Colorado with more than 35,000 workers.

3. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Also known as DFW Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is a huge airport that serves the Dallas and Fort Worth metroplex area of the state of Texas.

The airport, which was opened in 1973, is located halfway between the two cities and has a total area of 69.63 square kilometers – making it bigger than the island of Manhattan.
In fact, the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is so big that it is technically considered a city – complete with its own ZIP code and emergency services.

DFW is the hub for American Airlines, Ameriflight and UPS Airlines.

4. Orlando International Airport
At 53.83 square kilometers, Orlando International Airport is the fourth biggest airport in the world.

Located 10km southeast of Orlando, Florida, the airport serves about 50 million passengers a year (most travelling to Disney World) – making it one of the busiest airports in the United States.

Orlando International Airport was opened in 1981 and it serves 135 destinations. The airport is the hub for Silver Airways and a focus site for Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines.

5. Washington Dulles International Airport
Located in Chantilly, Virginia, 42km west of downtown Washington, DC, Dulles International Airport is one of the three major airports in the Baltimore-Washington metroplex area – the others being Reagan National Airport and the Baltimore/Washington International Airport.

The airport, which was opened in 1962, is named after John Foster Dulles, the 52nd Secretary of State.

Dulles International Airport has a total area of 48.56 square kilometers and handles more than 24 million passengers a year. It is the hub for United Airlines, and Southern Airways.

6. Beijing Daxing International Airport
Beijing Daxing International Airport, also known as Beijing New Airport, is an impressive airfield located on the border of Beijing and Langfang, Hebei Province.

Beijing Daxing boasts the world’s largest airport terminal – spanning 7.5 million square feet. It is, however, the sixth biggest airport in the world with a total land area of 47 square kilometers.

Built in four years at a cost of $11 billion, Beijing Daxing Airport was opened in September 2019 – officially becoming the world’s largest single-terminal airport.

7. George Bush Intercontinental Airport
The George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, is the seventh biggest airport in the world and the fifth largest in America.

The airport, which is located 27km north of downtown Houston, is named after George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States.

The George Bush Intercontinental Airport has a total area of 44.51 square kilometers and handles more than 40 million passengers a year. The airport is a hub for the United Airlines and Atlas Air.

8. Shanghai Pudong International Airport
Located in Pudong, 30km south-east of Shanghai, the Shanghai Pudong International Airport is the eighth largest airport in the world with a total land area of 39.88 square kilometers.

The airport, which is served by two main passenger terminals, handled a whopping 74 million passengers in 2018 exceeding its annual capacity of 60 million passengers.

However, a third passenger terminal was opened in 2021 – together with a satellite terminal and two extra runways – raising the airport’s capacity to 80 million passengers.

Shanghai Pudong International Airport is the main hub for China Eastern Airlines and Shanghai Airlines, and a major international hub for Air China. It is also a secondary hub for China Southern Airlines.

9. Cairo International Airport
Cairo International Airport, with a total land area of 36.25 square kilometers, is the largest airport in Africa and the only African airport to appear in the list of world’s biggest airports.

Located in Heliopolis, 15km northeast of Cairo, Cairo International Airport served 15 million passengers in 2017 – making it the second busiest airport in Africa after Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport, which handled 21 million passengers.

Cairo International Airport is the main hub for EgyptAir and Nile Air.

10. Suvarnabhumi Airport
Located east of Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi Airport, also known as Bangkok Airport, is one of the biggest airports in Southeast Asia with a total land area of 32.4 square kilometers.
The airport, which was opened in September 2006, handled more than 63 million passengers in 2018. It is currently the main hub for Bangkok Airways, Thai Smile Airways, Thai Vietjet Air, and Jet Asia Airways.

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