Air travel is the most preferred mode of transport for many people because it is faster and less susceptible to accidents than other modes.
Depending on the distance and nature of the flight, it can reach domestic destinations within a couple of hours and international destinations within 24 or more hours.
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.
Table of Contents
- 10 Largest Airports in the United States
- 1. Denver International Airport
- 2. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
- 3. Orlando International Airport
- 4. Washington Dulles International Airport
- 5. George Bush Intercontinental Airport
- 6. Salt Lake International Airport
- 7. O’Hare International Airport
- 8. San Francisco International Airport
- 9. John F. Kennedy International Airport
- 10. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
- 10 Busiest Airports in the United States
- 4. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
- Best Airports for Holiday Destination in the United States
- International Airports in the United States
- Frequently Asked Questions
The United States has five of the largest airports globally. 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.
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.
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 the 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.
The next largest airport in the United States is Orlando International Airport. It is 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 a civilian airport to serve civilians.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Located in New York City, John F. Kennedy International Airport was renamed from Idlewild Airport 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.
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 busiest airports are those which handle the highest number of passengers (traffic) in a year. The following are the 10 busiest airports in the United States.
Topping the list is The Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport which is not 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.
Los Angeles International Airport, or LAX, serves Los Angeles and its surrounding metropolitan area. 85 million passengers use LAX within a 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.
O’Hare International Airport is often busy throughout the year. Approximately 79.8 million passengers travel through the airport every year. That implies that 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.
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.
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.
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.
San Francisco is the second-busiest airport in California after Lax. 56 million travelers use the airport annually.
Situated in Paradise, Nevada, McCarren International Airport receives 51 million passengers in a year. Most air travels to and from this airport are usually domestic flights.
Its most popular route is going to and from Los Angeles.
Seattle Metropolitan Area’s airport is the ninth busiest airport in the United States. 50 million passengers have used the airport over one year.
It is one of the fastest-growing airports and is expected to climb the rank of busy years in the coming years.
Located in North Carolina, Charlotte Douglass International Airport is a civil-military airport. It receives an average of 46 million air travelers annually.
It is fun to land in airports, ideal for holidays for some passengers, especially tourists. However, not all airports are good for holiday destinations. Here are a few airports for holiday destinations in the United States.
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.
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.
Denver International Airport is a good airport for holiday destinations because of its great ambiance. It has amazing restaurants and lounges within its perimeter.
Thanks to its Automated Guideway Transit System, it also has access to more than 100 restaurants, shops, and services, which connects the airport with its outposts.
Denver, where the airport is situated, also provides amazing activities and events for travelers, such as its annual beer festival and ice skating extravaganza, during holidays.
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.
While the United States has many airports, not all provide flights to international destinations. Some operate domestically or within a specified region.
The United States has more than 150 international airports, and here are some of them.
- Alexandria International Airport
- Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport
- Bradley International Airport
- Daytona Beach International Airport
- Denver International Airport
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
- Fresno Yosemite International Airport
- Huntsville International Airport
- Ketchikan International Airport
- Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport
- Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport
- Oakland International Airport
- Ontario International Airport
- Palm Springs International Airport
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
- Sacramento International Airport
- San Francisco International Airport
- San Jose International Airport
- Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport
- Tucson International Airport
- Yuma International Airport
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Besides being ranked in terms of land size and traffic, airports can also be ranked based on the number of runways.
Here are airports in the United States with the most runways.
- O’Hare International Airport – 8
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport – 7
- Denver International Airport – 6
- Boston Logan International Airport – 6
- Detroit Metropolitan Airport – 6
- Milwaukee Mitchell Airport – 5
- Chicago Midway International Airport – 5
- Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport – 5
- George Bush Intercontinental Airport – 5
- Salt Lake International Airport – 4
Airports cannot operate without airlines. The airlines are either privately or publicly owned. Here are the main airlines that operate in airports across the United States.
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- United Airlines
- Spirit Airlines
- JetBlue Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Delta Air Airlines
- Frontier Airlines
- Allegiant Air
- Southwest Airlines
Not all airports in the United States are for commercial use. Some are privately owned and only handle personal business. There is a total of 493 commercial airports in the United States.
They contribute more than $1.4 trillion to the country’s economy.
Nearly every country in the world has an airport. There are 41,700 airports globally, with the United States topping the list of nations with many airports, followed by Brazil, then Mexico in the third spot.