How Many Airports Are There in the United States?

Air travel is the preferred mode of transport for many people because it is faster and less susceptible to incidents than other modes.

Depending on the distance and nature of the flight, flights can reach domestic destinations within a couple of hours and international destinations within 24 hours or less.

The United States of America is home to thousands of airports that offer air travel to domestic and international destinations.

There are 19,920 airports in the United States.

Read on to find out more about airports in the nation.

The 10 Largest Airports in the United States

The United States has five of the largest airports in the world. Sometimes the largest airports are also the busiest in terms of traffic, but this is not always the case. Here is a list of the 10 largest airports in the United States.

1. Denver International Airport

Situated in the Great Plains of Colorado in northeast Denver, Denver International Airport is the largest airport in America and the second-largest in the world by land area after King Fahd International Airport in Saudi Arabia.

It measures 34,000 acres and serves Denver, the Front Range Urban Corridor, and neighboring areas.

2. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, or DFW, ranks second in terms of the largest airport in terms of physical footprint in the United States.

It is the main airport providing air travel services in Texas’s Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan area. DFW spans 17,207 acres. Thanks to its large size, it has its unique city designation (DFW) and zip code.

3. Orlando International Airport

Orlando International Airport

The next largest airport in the United States is Orlando International Airport – a major public airport situated a few miles southeast of Downtown Orlando in Florida.

The airport spans 12,600 acres. Orlando International Airport started as a launchpad for military jets but was later turned into an airport to serve civilians.

4. Washington Dulles International Airport

Washington Dulles International Airport

Located in the United States’ capital city, Washington Dulles International Airport is one of the primary airports in the Washington-Baltimore metropolitan area.

It covers 12,000 acres in the Downtown Washington DC suburbs. The airport has one main terminal building and two midfield terminals with four concourses.

5. George Bush Intercontinental Airport

George Bush Intercontinental Airport

Filling the fifth spot is George Bush Intercontinental Airport. It is located 23 miles north of Downtown Houston, Texas. The airport is spread over 10,000 acres of land.

6. Salt Lake International Airport

Salt Lake International airport

Salt Lake International airport is situated a few miles west of Salt Lake City. It covers 8,044 acres. Despite its large size, it is one of the less busy airports among the top 10 largest airports in the United States.

It boasts three terminals, three helipads, and four runways.

7. O’Hare International Airport

O'Hare International Airport

Situated on 7,627 acres within Chicago, the O’Hare International Airport is the seventh-largest airport in the United States. The city operates the airport.

8. San Francisco International Airport

San Francisco International Airport

Found in California, San Francisco International Airport is situated in San Mateo County, 13 miles from downtown San Francisco.

It is the largest airport by land area in the San Francisco Bay Area and the eighth largest in America, with a size of 5,207 acres. It operates nonstop and connects to North America, Europe, and Asia.

9. John F. Kennedy International Airport

John F. Kennedy International Airport

Located in New York City, John F. Kennedy International Airport was renamed from Idlewild Airport as a tribute to the 35th president of the United States.

The airport measures 4,930 acres with six terminals, four runways, and four helipads spread over the property.

10. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport

Closing the list of the 10 largest airports in the United States is Detroit Metropolitan Wayne Country Airport, commonly known as Detroit Metropolitan Airport. It measures 4,850 acres with six runways, two terminals, and 129 service gates.

The 10 Busiest Airports in the United States

The busiest airports are those that handle the highest number of passengers (traffic) in a year. The following are the 10 busiest airports in the United States.

1. Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

Topping the list is The Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport which is not only the busiest airport in the United States but globally.

Its busy nature is partly attributed to its central position, making it convenient for domestic and international. The airport receives nearly 104 million passengers in a year.

More than 30 airlines, domestic and international, operate in the airport. Hartsfield-Jackson serves about 150 destinations in the United States through direct and indirect flights.

It connects to 75 destinations on all continents and receives more than 100 million passengers per year.

2. Los Angeles International Airport

Los Angeles International Airport, or LAX, serves Los Angeles and its surrounding metropolitan area. Eighty-five million passengers use LAX each year, making it the second-busiest airport.

United Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Air Airlines are some of the main airlines serving LAX. It primarily offers flights to and from Asia and the Pacific.

3. O’Hare International Airport

O’Hare International Airport is often busy throughout the year. Approximately 79.8 million passengers travel through the airport annually. With those numbers, that means it averages 2,520 flights per day.

It used to be the busiest airport globally between 1963 and 1998. It connects to 217 domestic and international destinations on five continents.

4. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

DFW serves nearly 69 million passengers every year to and from more than 200 destinations through direct and indirect flights. At least 26 airlines operate through the airport’s five terminals.

5. Denver International Airport

Denver International Airport receives more than 60,000 travelers a day and serves 61 million passengers annually.

The airport currently connects to 215 destinations throughout North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia on 23 airlines.

6. John F. Kennedy International Airport

John F. Kennedy International Airport is the sixth-largest airport in the United States in terms of traffic. A staggering 61 million passengers travel through the airport every year.

7. San Francisco International Airport

San Francisco is the second-busiest airport in California after Lax. 56 million travelers use the airport annually.

8. McCarren International Airport

McCarren International Airport

Situated in Paradise, Nevada, McCarren International Airport receives 51 million passengers each year. Most air travels to and from this airport are domestic flights.

Its most popular route is going to and from Los Angeles.

9. Seattle International Airport

Seattle Metropolitan Area’s airport is the ninth busiest airport in the United States. Fifty million passengers have used the airport in a single year.

It is one of the fastest-growing airports and is expected to climb the rank of busy airports in the coming years.

10. Charlotte Douglas International Airport

Located in North Carolina, Charlotte Douglass International Airport is a civil-military airport. It receives an average of 46 million air travelers annually.

Best Airports for Holiday Destination in the United States

Landing in the airport is always an exciting part of any vacation. However, not all airports are good for holiday destinations. Here are a few U.S. airports that will live up to your vacationing standards.

1. Miami International Airport

Miami International Airport

Miami International Airports tops the list of the best airports for holiday destinations in the United States.

For travelers who like spending their holiday along the coast, the airport is near some of the best holiday destinations in Miami, including South Beach, Bal Harbor, Coconut Grove, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Perez Art Museum, and Wynwood Walls.

The airport has restaurants, lounges, gift shops, and free Wi-Fi.

2. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport

Located in the hills of Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is an ideal airport for a holiday destination.

The airport charges affordable fare, and its central position near Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana provides travelers with many holiday destinations.

The airport itself can serve as a holiday destination. It has amazing designs and décor displaying the city’s beauty. The airport has comfortable massage chairs, a museum, a chapel, dinosaur fossil displays, and artwork.

3. Denver International Airport

Denver International Airport is a good airport for holiday destinations because of its great ambiance. It has amazing restaurants and lounges to enjoy while you wait for your flight.

Thanks to its Automated Guideway Transit System, which connects the airport with its outposts, it also has access to more than 100 restaurants, shops, and services.

Denver, where the airport is situated, also provides amazing activities and events for travelers, such as its annual beer festival and ice skating extravaganza.

4. Los Angeles International Airport

Los Angeles InternationalAirport

LAX probably features in nearly all airport categories, including being one of the best airports for holiday destinations in the United States.

The airport has more than 200 restaurants, lounges, shops, and amenities like art programs and animal relief areas.

Being in Los Angeles, LAX allows travelers to access various holiday destinations in the city, such as The Getty, Disneyland Park, and the Los Angeles Museum of Art.

International Airports in the United States

While the United States has many airports, not all provide flights to international destinations. Some operate domestically or only within a specified region.

The United States has more than 150 international airports, and here are some of them.

  1. Alexandria International Airport
  2. Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport
  3. Bradley International Airport
  4. Daytona Beach International Airport
  5. Denver International Airport
  6. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
  7. Fresno Yosemite International Airport
  8. Huntsville International Airport
  9. Ketchikan International Airport
  10. Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport
  11. Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport
  12. Oakland International Airport
  13. Ontario International Airport
  14. Palm Springs International Airport
  15. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
  16. Sacramento International Airport
  17. San Francisco International Airport
  18. San Jose International Airport
  19. Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport
  20. Tucson International Airport
  21. Yuma International Airport

Frequently Asked Questions

Does every state have an international airport?

International Airport

All states have airports in the United States. Additionally, all states have at least one primary commercial airport except Delaware.

Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Nebraska, and South are the only states without an international airport in the United States.

Which airports in the United States have the most runways?

Besides being ranked in terms of land size and traffic, airports can also be ranked based on their number of runways.

Here are the airports in the United States with the most runways:

  1. O’Hare International Airport – 8
  2. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport – 7
  3. Denver International Airport – 6
  4. Boston Logan International Airport – 6
  5. Detroit Metropolitan Airport – 6
  6. Milwaukee Mitchell Airport – 5
  7. Chicago Midway International Airport – 5
  8. Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport – 5
  9. George Bush Intercontinental Airport – 5
  10. Salt Lake International Airport – 4

What are some airlines in the United States?

Airports cannot operate without airlines. These airlines are either privately or publicly owned. Here are the main airlines that operate in airports across the United States.

  1. Alaska Airlines
  2. American Airlines
  3. United Airlines
  4. Spirit Airlines
  5. JetBlue Airlines
  6. Hawaiian Airlines
  7. Delta Air Airlines
  8. Frontier Airlines
  9. Allegiant Air
  10. Southwest Airlines

What about commercial airports in the United States?


Not all airports in the United States are for commercial use. Some are privately owned and only handle personal business. There are 493 commercial airports in the United States.

They contribute more than $1.4 trillion to the country’s economy.

How many airports are there in the world?

Nearly every country in the world has an airport. There are 41,700 airports globally, with the United States topping the list for most airports in one nation, followed by Brazil and then Mexico.