Green sign pointing to airport.

The world’s largest airport… not an easy thing to define

Posted on

If you ask a hundred people what the highest mountain in the world might be, at least 90 of them would say Mount Everest. But ask those same individuals about the largest airport on the planet and you might get a number of different answers. The reason for this is simple: how on earth do you define what largest even means? Will it be in terms of land space? Number of terminals? Amount of passengers? Busiest flight schedules? Well, in truth it could be any of them. 

One thing we do know, however, is that in terms of land area, one particular location is miles in front of anything else. Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd International Airport is, to put it simply, the Everest, the Nile, the Pacific and the Suez Canal of the aviation world. It’s huge. In fact, it’s roughly the size of New York City. It’s hard to imagine that an airport can cover an area of around 300 square miles, but it’s a fact. 

Having said that, Damman Airport, as it’s also known, isn’t all it appears to be. The huge footprint of this facility is impressive, but the utilised area of the airport itself covers only a section of that space. At around 9,000 acres, this makes it the sixth-largest airport in the world, behind the likes of Denver, Dallas/Fort Worth and Orlando. Damman is only the third-busiest airport in Saudi Arabia, actually, with both Jeddah and Riyadh handling more passengers. 

All roads sometimes seem to lead to America 

And speaking of travellers, if you define the world’s largest airport by passenger numbers, then Atlanta-Hartfield is the top of the charts. In 2021, for example, more than 75 million people either landed or took off here. In all, eight of the busiest ten were in the USA, with China’s Guangzhou and Chengdu also in the list. In terms of international travel, Dubai, Istanbul and Amsterdam comprise the top three. 

If you’re wondering about the airport with the most terminals – and why wouldn’t you be? – then look no further than Los Angeles. LAX has nine of them, accompanied by 146 passenger gates and four separate runways. Incidentally, if you’re wondering what the X stands for, it has no meaning at all. Many years ago in the 1940s, international airport codes consisted of two letters. When they had to be changed to three letters, the X was added. 

Here at Scarecrow, we’re proud to be working for a large and diverse group of airports around the world. Our state-of-the-art bio-acoustic bird dispersal equipment is used to keep wildlife in check in all corners of the globe, and we continue to set the highest standards. If your facility is experiencing problems with birds, deer, coyotes, monkeys or anything else, one call to Scarecrow is all you need. To find out more, call 01825 766 363 today, or drop us a line via our Contact page. We hope to hear from you soon.