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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For the product series by Apple Inc., see AirPort. For other uses, see Airport (disambiguation).

Sample infrastructure of a typical airport. Larger airports usually contain more runways and terminals.

Airport distribution in 2008

A picture of Terminal 3 of the Dubai International Airport

Solar panels at the international airport at Kochi, India, the world's first airport to be fully powered by
solar energy.

An airport is an aerodrome with facilities for flights to take off and land.[1][2] Airports often have
facilities to store and maintain aircraft, and a control tower. An airport consists of a landing
area, which comprises an aerially accessible open space including at least one operationally
active surface such as a runway for a plane to take off[3] or a helipad,[4] and often includes
adjacent utility buildings such as control towers, hangars[5] and terminals. Larger airports may
have fixed-base operator services, airport aprons, taxiway bridges, air traffic control centres,
passenger facilities such as restaurants and lounges, and emergency services.
An airport with a helipad for rotorcraft but no runway is called a heliport. An airport for use
by seaplanes and amphibious aircraft is called a seaplane base. Such a base typically includes
a stretch of open water for takeoffs and landings, and seaplane docks for tying-up.
An international airport has additional facilities for customs and passport control.
In warfare, airports can become the focus of intense fighting, for example the Battle of Tripoli
Airport or the Battle for Donetsk Airport, both taking place in 2014. An airport primarily
for military use is called an airbase or air station.
Most of the world's airports are owned by local, regional, or national government bodies.


1Landside and airside areas

2Air traffic control presence
o 4.1Airport ownership and operation
o 4.2Airport structures
o 4.3Products and services
o 4.4Premium and VIP services
o 4.5Cargo and freight services
o 4.6Support services
o 4.7Airport access
o 4.8Internal transport
o 4.9History and development
5Airport designation and naming
6Airport security
7Airport operations
o 7.1Air traffic control
o 7.2Traffic pattern
o 7.3Navigational aids
o 7.4Taxiway signs
o 7.5Lighting
7.5.1Airport Apron
o 7.6Weather observations
o 7.7Safety management
8Airport ground crew (Ground Handling)
9Environmental concerns and sustainability
10Military airbase
11Airports in entertainment
o 11.1Filming at airports
12Airport directories
13See also
15External links

Landside and airside areas[edit]

Airports are divided into landside and airside. Landside includes areas such as check-
in, parking lots, public transport railway stations and access roads. Airside includes all areas
accessible to aircraft, including runways, taxiways and apron/ramps. Passage between
landside and airside is tightly controlled at all airports. To access airside, one must go through
Security, and if applicable, Passport Control too. This applies to everyone, including staff.
Most major airports provide commercial outlets for products and services. Airports may also
contain premium and VIP services. The premium and VIP services may include express check-
in and dedicated check-in counters. In addition to people, airports move cargo around the
clock. Many large airports are located near railway trunk routes.

Air traffic control presence[edit]

Commercial jets wait for the "7am hold" to pass before departing from John Wayne Airport, Feb 14, 2015

The majority of the world's airports are non-towered, with no air traffic control presence. Busy
airports have air traffic control (ATC) system. All airports use a traffic pattern to assure smooth
traffic flow between departing and arriving aircraft. There are a number of aids available
to pilots, though not all airports are equipped with them. Many airports have lighting that help
guide planes using the runways and taxiways at night or in rain, snow, or fog. In the U.S. and
Canada, the vast majority of airports, large and small, will either have some form of automated
airport weather station, a human observer or a combination of the two. Air safety is an
important concern in the operation of an airport, and airports often have their own safety

Air bridges at Oslo Airport from an Icelandair Boeing 757-200

The terms aerodrome, airfield, and airstrip may also be used to refer to airports, and the
terms heliport, seaplane base, and STOLport refer to airports dedicated exclusively
to helicopters, seaplanes, or short take-off and landing aircraft.
In colloquial use, the terms airport and aerodrome are often interchanged. However, in general,
the term airport may imply or confer a certain stature upon the aviation facility that
an aerodrome may not have achieved. In some jurisdictions, airport is a legal term of
art reserved exclusively for those aerodromes certified or licensed as airports by the
relevant national aviation authority after meeting specified certification criteria or regulatory
That is to say, all airports are aerodromes, but not all aerodromes are airports. In jurisdictions
where there is no legal distinction between aerodrome and airport, which term to use in the
name of an aerodrome may be a commercial decision. Aerodrome is uncommon in the United


The passenger terminal buildings at Incheon International Airport, Incheon, South Korea

Smaller or less-developed airports, which represent the vast majority, often have a single
runway shorter than 1,000 m (3,300 ft). Larger airports for airline flights generally have paved
runways 2,000 m (6,600 ft) or longer. Many small airports have dirt, grass, or gravel runways,
rather than asphalt or concrete.
In the United States, the minimum dimensions for dry, hard landing fields are defined by
the FAR Landing And Takeoff Field Lengths. These include considerations for safety margins
during landing and takeoff. Heavier aircraft require longer runways.
The longest public-use runway in the world is at Qamdo Bangda Airport in China. It has a
length of 5,500 m (18,045 ft). The world's widest paved runway is at Ulyanovsk Vostochny
Airport in Russia and is 105 m (344 ft) wide.
As of 2009, the CIA stated that there were approximately 44,000 "... airports or airfields
recognizable from the air" around the world, including 15,095 in the US, the US having the
most in the world.[7][8]
Airport ownership and operation[edit]

The Berlin Brandenburg Airport is publicly financed by the states of Berlin and Brandenburg and the
Federal Republic of Germany.

Most of the world's airports are owned by local, regional, or national government bodies who
then lease the airport to private corporations who oversee the airport's operation. For example,
in the United Kingdom the state-owned British Airports Authority originally operated eight of the
nation's major commercial airports - it was subsequently privatized in the late 1980s, and
following its takeover by the Spanish Ferrovial consortium in 2006, has been further divested
and downsized to operating just Heathrow now. Germany's Frankfurt Airport is managed by the
quasi-private firm Fraport. While in India GMR Group operates, through joint ventures, Indira
Gandhi International Airport and Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. Bengaluru International
Airport and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport are controlled by GVK Group. The rest of
India's airports are managed by the Airports Authority of India.
In the United States commercial airports are generally operated directly by government entities
or government-created airport authorities (also known as port authorities), such as the Los
Angeles World Airports authority that oversees several airports in the Greater Los Angeles
area, including Los Angeles International Airport.
In Canada, the federal authority, Transport Canada, divested itself of all but the remotest
airports in 1999/2000. Now most airports in Canada are owned and operated by individual
legal authorities or are municipally owned.
Many U.S. airports still lease part or all of their facilities to outside firms, who operate functions
such as retail management and parking. In the U.S., all commercial airport runways are
certified by the FAA[9] under the Code of Federal Regulations Title 14 Part 139, "Certification of
Commercial Service Airports"[10] but maintained by the local airport under the regulatory
authority of the FAA.
Despite the reluctance to privatize airports in the US (despite the FAA sponsoring a
privatization program since 1996), the government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO)
arrangement is the standard for the operation of commercial airports in the rest of the world.
Airport structures[edit]
Terminal structures at Sheremetyevo International Airport

Airports are divided into landside and airside areas. Landside areas include parking lots, public
transportation train stations and access roads. Airside areas include all areas accessible to
aircraft, including runways, taxiways and aprons. Access from landside areas to airside areas
is tightly controlled at most airports. Passengers on commercial flights access airside areas
through terminals, where they can purchase tickets, clear security check, or claim luggage and
board aircraft through gates. The waiting areas which provide passenger access to aircraft are
typically called concourses, although this term is often used interchangeably with terminal.

The apron from the top floor observation room, Halifax International Airport, Canada

The area where aircraft park next to a terminal to load passengers and baggage is known as
a ramp (or incorrectly, "the tarmac"). Parking areas for aircraft away from terminals are called
Airports can be towered or non-towered, depending on air traffic density and available funds.
Due to their high capacity and busy airspace, many international airports have air traffic control
located on site.

Terminal 2 at Mumbai's Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport.

Airports with international flights have customs and immigration facilities. However, as some
countries have agreements that allow travel between them without customs and immigrations,
such facilities are not a definitive need for an international airport. International flights often
require a higher level of physical security, although in recent years, many countries have
adopted the same level of security for international and domestic travel.
Some airport structures include on-site hotels built within or attached to a terminal building.
Airport hotels have grown popular due to their convenience for transient passengers and easy
accessibility to the airport terminal. Many airport hotels also have agreements with airlines to
provide overnight lodging for displaced passengers.
"Floating airports" are being designed which could be located out at sea and which would use
designs such as pneumatic stabilized platform technology.
Products and services[edit]

Food court and shops, Halifax Stanfield International Airport, Canada

Duty-free shop at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand

Most major airports provide commercial outlets for products and services. Most of these
companies, many of which are internationally known brands, are located within the departure
areas. These include clothing boutiques and restaurants. Prices charged for items sold at
these outlets are generally higher than those outside the airport. However, some airports now
regulate costs to keep them comparable to "street prices". This term is misleading as prices
often match the manufacturers' suggested retail price (MSRP) but are almost never
discounted.[citation needed]
Apart from major fast food chains, some airport restaurants offer regional cuisine specialties for
those in transit so that they may sample local food or culture without leaving the airport.[11]
Major airports in such countries as Russia and Japan offer miniature sleeping units within the
airport that are available for rent by the hour. The smallest type is the capsule hotel popular in
Japan. A slightly larger variety is known as a sleep box. An even larger type is provided by the
company YOTEL.
Premium and VIP services[edit]
Shahjalal International Airport's VIPTerminal, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Airports may also contain premium and VIP services. The premium and VIP services may
include express check-in and dedicated check-in counters. These services are usually
reserved for First and Business class passengers, premium frequent flyers, and members of
the airline's clubs. Premium services may sometimes be open to passengers who are
members of a different airline's frequent flyer program. This can sometimes be part of a
reciprocal deal, as when multiple airlines are part of the same alliance, or as a ploy to attract
premium customers away from rival airlines.
Sometimes these premium services will be offered to a non-premium passenger if the airline
has made a mistake in handling of the passenger, such as unreasonable delays or mishandling
of checked baggage.
Airline lounges frequently offer free or reduced cost food, as well as alcoholic and non-
alcoholic beverages. Lounges themselves typically have seating, showers, quiet areas,
televisions, computer, Wi-Fi and Internet access, and power outlets that passengers may use
for their electronic equipment. Some airline lounges employ baristas, bartenders and gourmet
Airlines sometimes operate multiple lounges within the one airport terminal allowing ultra-
premium customers, such as first class customers, additional services, which are not available
to other premium customers. Multiple lounges may also prevent overcrowding of the lounge
Cargo and freight services[edit]
In addition to people, airports move cargo around the clock. Cargo airlines often have their own
on-site and adjacent infrastructure to transfer parcels between ground and air.
Cargo Terminal Facilities are areas where international airports export cargo has to be stored
after customs clearance and prior to loading on the aircraft. Similarly import cargo that is
offloaded needs to be in bond before the consignee decides to take delivery. Areas have to be
kept aside for examination of export and import cargo by the airport authorities. Designated
areas or sheds may be given to airlines or freight forward ring agencies.
Every cargo terminal has a landside and an airside. The landside is where the exporters and
importers through either their agents or by themselves deliver or collect shipments while the
airside is where loads are moved to or from the aircraft. In addition cargo terminals are divided
into distinct areas export, import and interline or transhipment
Recife International Airport in Recife, Brazil.

Support services[edit]
Aircraft and Passenger Boarding Bridges Maintenance, Pilot Operations, Commissioning,
Training Services, aircraft rental, and hangar rental are most often performed by a fixed-base
operator (FBO). At major airports, particularly those used as hubs, airlines may operate their
own support facilities.
Some airports, typically military airbases, have long runways used as emergency landing sites.
Many airbases have arresting equipment for fast aircraft, known as arresting gear a strong
cable suspended just above the runway and attached to a hydraulic reduction
gear mechanism. Together with the landing aircraft's arresting hook, it is used in situations
where the aircraft's brakes would be insufficient by themselves.
In the United States, many larger civilian airports also host an Air National Guard base.

The New Delhi International Airport is accessible via Delhi Metro's Airport Express.

Airport access[edit]
Many large airports are located near railway trunk routes for seamless connection
of multimodal transport, for instance Frankfurt Airport, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, London
Heathrow Airport, London Gatwick Airport and London Stansted Airport. It is also common to
connect an airport and a city with rapid transit, light rail lines or other non-road public transport
systems. Some examples of this would include the AirTrain JFK at John F. Kennedy
International Airport in New York, Link Light Rail that runs from the heart of
downtown Seattle to SeattleTacoma International Airport, and the Silver Line T
at Boston's Logan International Airport by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation
Authority (MBTA). Such a connection lowers risk of missed flights due to traffic congestion.
Large airports usually have access also through controlled-access highways ('freeways' or
'motorways') from which motor vehicles enter either the departure loop or the arrival loop.
Internal transport[edit]
The distances passengers need to move within a large airport can be substantial. It is common
for airports to provide moving walkways and buses. In 2007, ThyssenKrupp installed two high-
speed walkways in Terminal 1 at Toronto Pearson International Airport. They connect the
international gates in the newly opened Pier F, located at one end of the pier, with the rest of
the terminal. One walkway serves departing passengers travelling towards the gates and the
other serves arriving passengers travelling towards the terminal. The HartsfieldJackson
Atlanta International Airport has a tram that takes people through the concourses and baggage
claim. Major airports with more than one terminal offer inter-terminal transportation, such
as Mexico City International Airport, where the domestic building of Terminal 1 is connected
by Aerotrn to Terminal 2, on the other side of the airport.
History and development[edit]

The Kharkiv Airport in Sokolniki, Ukraine (1924).

The earliest aircraft takeoff and landing sites were grassy fields. The plane could approach at
any angle that provided a favorable wind direction. A slight improvement was the dirt-only field,
which eliminated the drag from grass. However, these only functioned well in dry conditions.
Later, concrete surfaces would allow landings, rain or shine, day or night.
The title of "world's oldest airport" is disputed, but College Park Airport in Maryland, US,
established in 1909 by Wilbur Wright, is generally agreed to be the world's oldest continually
operating airfield,[12] although it serves only general aviation traffic. Bisbee-Douglas
International Airport in Arizona was declared "the first international airport of the Americas" by
US president Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943. Pearson Field Airport in Vancouver,
Washington had a dirigible land in 1905 and planes in 1911 and is still in use.
Hamburg Airport opened in January 1911, making it the oldest airport in the world which is still
in operation. Bremen Airport opened in 1913 and remains in use, although it served as an
American military field between 1945 and 1949. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol opened on
September 16, 1916 as a military airfield, but only accepted civil aircraft from December 17,
1920, allowing Sydney Airport in Sydney, Australiawhich started operations in January
1920to claim to be one of the world's oldest continually operating commercial
airports.[13]Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota,
opened in 1920 and has been in continuous commercial service since. It serves about
35,000,000 passengers each year and continues to expand, recently opening a new 11,000
foot (3,355 meter) runway. Of the airports constructed during this early period in aviation, it is
one of the largest and busiest that is still currently operating. Rome Ciampino Airport, opened
1916, is also a contender, as well as the Don Mueang International Airport near Bangkok,
Thailand, which opened in 1914.[14] Increased aircraft traffic during World War I led to the
construction of landing fields. Aircraft had to approach these from certain directions and this led
to the development of aids for directing the approach and landing slope.

The New Orleans International Airport passenger terminal building in New Orleans (1960s).

Following the war, some of these military airfields added civil facilities for handling passenger
traffic. One of the earliest such fields was Paris Le Bourget Airport at Le Bourget, near Paris.
The first airport to operate scheduled international commercial services was Hounslow Heath
Aerodrome in August 1919, but it was closed and supplanted by Croydon Airport in March
1920.[15] In 1922, the first permanent airport and commercial terminal solely for commercial
aviation was opened at Flughafen Devau near what was then Knigsberg, East Prussia. The
airports of this era used a paved "apron", which permitted night flying as well as landing
heavier aircraft.
The first lighting used on an airport was during the latter part of the 1920s; in the
1930s approach lighting came into use. These indicated the proper direction and angle of
descent. The colours and flash intervals of these lights became standardized under
the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). In the 1940s, the slope-line approach
system was introduced. This consisted of two rows of lights that formed a funnel indicating an
aircraft's position on the glideslope. Additional lights indicated incorrect altitude and direction.

The Bender Qassim International Airport in Bosaso, Somalia (2007).

After World War II, airport design became more sophisticated. Passenger buildings were being
grouped together in an island, with runways arranged in groups about the terminal. This
arrangement permitted expansion of the facilities. But it also meant that passengers had to
travel further to reach their plane.
An improvement in the landing field was the introduction of grooves in the concrete surface.
These run perpendicular to the direction of the landing aircraft and serve to draw off excess
water in rainy conditions that could build up in front of the plane's wheels.
Airport construction boomed during the 1960s with the increase in jet aircraft traffic. Runways
were extended out to 3,000 m (9,800 ft). The fields were constructed out of reinforced
concrete using a slip-form machine that produces a continual slab with no disruptions along the
length. The early 1960s also saw the introduction of jet bridge systems to modern airport
terminals, an innovation which eliminated outdoor passenger boarding. These systems
became commonplace in the United States by the 1970s.

Airport designation and naming[edit]

Further information: List of airports
Airports are uniquely represented by their IATA airport code and ICAO airport code.
Most airport names include the location. Many airport names honour a public figure, commonly
a politician (e.g. Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport), a celebrity such as in Liverpool John Lennon
Airport or a prominent figure in aviation history of the region (e.g. Will Rogers World Airport).
Some airports have unofficial names, possibly so widely circulated that its official name is little
used or even known.[citation needed]
Some airport names include the word "International" to indicate their ability to
handle international air traffic. This includes some airports that do not have scheduled airline
services (e.g. Albany International Airport).

Airport security[edit]
Main article: Airport security

Baggage is scanned using X-ray machines as passengers walk through metal detectors

Airport security normally requires baggage checks, metal screenings of individual persons, and
rules against any object that could be used as a weapon. Since the September 11, 2001
attacks and the Real ID Act of 2005, airport security has dramatically increased and got tighter
and stricter then ever before.
See also: Airport security repercussions due to the September 11 attacks

Airport operations[edit]
Air traffic control[edit]
Airport tower.

A towered airport has an operating control tower that is responsible for overseeing the safe,
orderly, and expeditious flow of air traffic at airports. Aircraft are required to maintain two-way
radio communication with air traffic controllers, and to acknowledge and comply with their
instructions. Nontowered airport have no operating control tower and therefore two-way radio
communications are not required, though it is good operating practice for pilots to transmit their
intentions on the airports common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) for the benefit of other
aircraft in the area. The CTAF may be a Universal Integrated Community (UNICOM),
MULTICOM, Flight Service Station (FSS), or tower frequency.
The majority of the world's airports are non-towered, with no air traffic control presence.
However, at particularly busy airports, or airports with other special requirements, there is an
air traffic control (ATC) system whereby controllers (usually ground-based) direct aircraft
movements via radio or other communications links. This coordinated oversight facilitates
safety and speed in complex operations where traffic moves in all three dimensions. Air traffic
control responsibilities at airports are usually divided into at least two main
areas: ground and tower, though a single controller may work both stations. The busiest
airports also have clearance delivery, apron control, and other specialized ATC stations.
Ground Control is responsible for directing all ground traffic in designated "movement areas",
except the traffic on runways. This includes planes, baggage trains, snowplows, grass cutters,
fuel trucks, stair trucks, airline food trucks, conveyor belt vehicles and other vehicles. Ground
Control will instruct these vehicles on which taxiways to use, which runway they will use (in the
case of planes), where they will park, and when it is safe to cross runways. When a plane is
ready to takeoff it will stop short of the runway, at which point it will be turned over
to Tower Control. After a plane has landed, it will depart the runway and be returned to Ground
Tower Control controls aircraft on the runway and in the controlled airspace immediately
surrounding the airport. Tower controllers may use radar to locate an aircraft's position in
three-dimensional space, or they may rely on pilot position reports and visual observation.
They coordinate the sequencing of aircraft in the traffic pattern and direct aircraft on how to
safely join and leave the circuit. Aircraft which are only passing through the airspace must also
contact Tower Control in order to be sure that they remain clear of other traffic.
Traffic pattern[edit]
Main article: Airfield traffic pattern
At all airports the use of a traffic pattern (often called a traffic circuit outside the U.S.) is
possible. They may help to assure smooth traffic flow between departing and arriving aircraft.
There is no technical need within modern aviation for performing this pattern, provided there is
no queue. And due to the so-called SLOT-times, the overall traffic planning tend to assure
landing queues are avoided. If for instance an aircraft approaches runway 17 (which has a
heading of approx. 170 degrees) from the north (coming from 360/0 degrees heading towards
180 degrees), the aircraft will land as fast as possible by just turning 10 degrees and follow
the glidepath, without orbit the runway for visual reasons, whenever this is possible. For
smaller piston engined airplanes at smaller airfields without ILS equipment, things are very
different though.
Generally, this pattern is a circuit consisting of five "legs" that form a rectangle (two legs and
the runway form one side, with the remaining legs forming three more sides). Each leg is
named (see diagram), and ATC directs pilots on how to join and leave the circuit. Traffic
patterns are flown at one specific altitude, usually 800 or 1,000 ft (244 or 305 m) above ground
level (AGL). Standard traffic patterns are left-handed, meaning all turns are made to the left.
One of the main reason for this is that pilots sit on the left side of the airplane, and a Left-hand
patterns improves their visibility of the airport and pattern. Right-handed patterns do exist,
usually because of obstacles such as a mountain, or to reduce noise for local residents. The
predetermined circuit helps traffic flow smoothly because all pilots know what to expect, and
helps reduce the chance of a mid-air collision.
At extremely large airports, a circuit is in place but not usually used. Rather, aircraft (usually
only commercial with long routes) request approach clearance while they are still hours away
from the airport, often before they even take off from their departure point. Large airports have
a frequency called Clearance Delivery which is used by departing aircraft specifically for this
purpose. This then allows aircraft to take the most direct approach path to the runway and land
without worrying about interference from other aircraft. While this system keeps the airspace
free and is simpler for pilots, it requires detailed knowledge of how aircraft are planning to use
the airport ahead of time and is therefore only possible with large commercial airliners on pre-
scheduled flights. The system has recently become so advanced that controllers can predict
whether an aircraft will be delayed on landing before it even takes off; that aircraft can then be
delayed on the ground, rather than wasting expensive fuel waiting in the air.
Navigational aids[edit]

Standard visual approach slope indicator

There are a number of aids available to pilots, though not all airports are equipped with them.
A visual approach slope indicator (VASI) helps pilots fly the approach for landing. Some
airports are equipped with a VHF omnidirectional range (VOR) to help pilots find the direction
to the airport. VORs are often accompanied by a distance measuring equipment (DME) to
determine the distance to the VOR. VORs are also located off airports, where they serve to
provide airways for aircraft to navigate upon. In poor weather, pilots will use an instrument
landing system (ILS) to find the runway and fly the correct approach, even if they cannot see
the ground. The number of instrument approaches based on the use of the Global Positioning
System (GPS) is rapidly increasing and may eventually be the primary means for instrument
Larger airports sometimes offer precision approach radar (PAR), but these systems are more
common at military air bases than civilian airports. The aircraft's horizontal and vertical
movement is tracked via radar, and the controller tells the pilot his position relative to
the approach slope. Once the pilots can see the runway lights, they may continue with a visual
Taxiway signs[edit]
Further information: Taxiway Taxiway signs
Airport guidance signs provide direction and information to taxiing aircraft and airport vehicles.
Smaller aerodromes may have few or no signs, relying instead on diagrams and charts.
Further information: Taxiway Taxiway lights, and Runway Runway lighting

Airport lighting.

Many airports have lighting that help guide planes using the runways and taxiways at night or
in rain or fog.
On runways, green lights indicate the beginning of the runway for landing, while red lights
indicate the end of the runway. Runway edge lighting consists of white lights spaced out on
both sides of the runway, indicating the edge. Some airports have more complicated lighting on
the runways including lights that run down the centerline of the runway and lights that help
indicate the approach (an approach lighting system, or ALS). Low-traffic airports may use pilot
controlled lighting to save electricity and staffing costs.
Along taxiways, blue lights indicate the taxiway's edge, and some airports have embedded
green lights that indicate the centerline.
Airport Apron[edit]
Both shielded and unshielded cable are listed in the specifications for the power cables on an
airport apron ramp.[16] [17]
Weather observations[edit]
See also: Surface weather observation, Weather station, Automated airport weather station,
and Automatic weather station
An automated weather system.

Weather observations at the airport are crucial to safe takeoffs and landings. In the US and
Canada, the vast majority of airports, large and small, will either have some form of automated
airport weather station, whether an AWOS, ASOS, or AWSS, a human observer or a
combination of the two. These weather observations, predominantly in the METAR format, are
available over the radio, through automatic terminal information service (ATIS), via the ATC or
the flight service station.
Planes take-off and land into the wind in order to achieve maximum performance. Because
pilots need instantaneous information during landing, a windsock is also kept in view of the
runway. Aviation windsocks are made with lightweight material, withstand strong winds and are
lit up after dark or in foggy weather. Because visibility of windsocks is limited, often multiple
glow-orange windsocks are placed on both sides of the runway.[18]
Safety management[edit]

"FLF Panther" airport crash tender in Germany

Road crossing of (Shetland) A970 with Sumburgh airport's runway. The movable barrier closes when
aircraft land or take off.

Air safety is an important concern in the operation of an airport, and almost every airfield
includes equipment and procedures for handling emergency situations. Airport crash
tender crews are equipped for dealing with airfield accidents, crew and passenger extractions,
and the hazards of highly flammable aviation fuel. The crews are also trained to deal with
situations such as bomb threats, hijacking, and terrorist activities.
Hazards to aircraft include debris, nesting birds, and reduced friction levels due to
environmental conditions such as ice, snow, or rain. Part of runway maintenance is airfield
rubber removal which helps maintain friction levels. The fields must be kept clear of debris
using cleaning equipment so that loose material does not become a projectile and enter an
engine duct (see foreign object damage). In adverse weather conditions, ice and snow clearing
equipment can be used to improve traction on the landing strip. For waiting aircraft, equipment
is used to spray special deicing fluids on the wings.
Many airports are built near open fields or wetlands. These tend to attract bird populations,
which can pose a hazard to aircraft in the form of bird strikes. Airport crews often need to
discourage birds from taking up residence.
Some airports are located next to parks, golf courses, or other low-density uses of land. Other
airports are located near densely populated urban or suburban areas.
An airport can have areas where collisions between aircraft on the ground tend to occur.
Records are kept of any incursions where aircraft or vehicles are in an inappropriate location,
allowing these "hot spots" to be identified. These locations then undergo special attention by
transportation authorities (such as the FAA in the US) and airport administrators.
During the 1980s, a phenomenon known as microburst became a growing concern due
to aircraft accidents caused by microburst wind shear, such as Delta Air Lines Flight
191. Microburst radar was developed as an aid to safety during landing, giving two to five
minutes warning to aircraft in the vicinity of the field of a microburst event.
Some airfields now have a special surface known as soft concrete at the end of the runway
(stopway or blastpad) that behaves somewhat like styrofoam, bringing the plane to a relatively
rapid halt as the material disintegrates. These surfaces are useful when the runway is located
next to a body of water or other hazard, and prevent the planes from overrunning the end of
the field.

Airport ground crew (Ground Handling)[edit]

Main article: Ground support equipment
An aircraft tow tractor moving a KLMBoeing 777

Ground operations at Berlin Tegel Airport

Most airports have groundcrew handling the loading and unloading of passengers, crew,
baggage and other services.[citation needed] Some groundcrew are linked to specific airlines
operating at the airport.
Many ground crew at the airport work at the aircraft. A tow tractor pulls the aircraft to one of the
airbridges, The ground power unit is plugged in. It keeps the electricity running in the plane
when it stands at the terminal. The engines are not working, therefore they do not generate the
electricity, as they do in flight. The passengers disembark using the airbridge. Mobile stairs can
give the ground crew more access to the aircraft's cabin. There is a cleaning service to clean
the aircraft after the aircraft lands. Flight catering provides the food and drinks on flights. A
toilet waste truck removes the human waste from the tank which holds the waste from the
toilets in the aircraft. A water truck fills the water tanks of the aircraft. A fuel transfer vehicle
transfers aviation fuel from fuel tanks underground, to the aircraft tanks. A tractor and its dollies
bring in luggage from the terminal to the aircraft. They also carry luggage to the terminal if the
aircraft has landed, and is being unloaded. Hi-loaders lift the heavy luggage containers to the
gate of the cargo hold. The ground crew push the luggage containers into the hold. If it has
landed, they rise, the ground crew push the luggage container on the hi-loader, which carries it
down. The luggage container is then pushed on one of the tractors dollies. The conveyor,
which is a conveyor belt on a truck, brings in the awkwardly shaped, or late luggage. The
airbridge is used again by the new passengers to embark the aircraft. The tow tractor pushes
the aircraft away from the terminal to a taxi area. The length of time an aircraft remains on the
ground in between consecutive flights is known as "turnaround time". Airlines pay great
attention to minimizing turnaround times in an effort to keep aircraft utilization (flying time) high,
with times scheduled as low as 25 minutes for jet aircraft operated by low-cost carriers on
narrow-body aircraft.

Environmental concerns and sustainability[edit]

Runway in Congonhas-So Paulo Airport in Brazil.

Aircraft noise is a major cause of noise disturbance to residents living near airports. Sleep can
be affected if the airports operate night and early morning flights. Aircraft noise not only occurs
from take-off and landings, but also ground operations including maintenance and testing of
aircraft. Noise can have other noise health effects. Other noise and environmental concerns
are vehicle traffic causing noise and pollution on roads leading the airport.[citation needed]
The construction of new airports or addition of runways to existing airports, is often resisted by
local residents because of the effect on countryside, historical sites, local flora and fauna. Due
to the risk of collision between birds and aircraft, large airports undertake population control
programs where they frighten or shoot birds.[citation needed]
The construction of airports has been known to change local weather patterns. For example,
because they often flatten out large areas, they can be susceptible to fog in areas where fog
rarely forms. In addition, they generally replace trees and grass with pavement, they often
change drainage patterns in agricultural areas, leading to more flooding, run-off and erosion in
the surrounding land.[citation needed]
Some of the airport administrations prepare and publish annual environmental reports in order
to show how they consider these environmental concerns in airport management issues and
how they protect environment from airport operations. These reports contain all environmental
protection measures performed by airport administration in terms of water, air, soil and noise
pollution, resource conservation and protection of natural life around the airport.
The world's first airport to be fully powered by solar energy is located at Kochi, India. Another
airport known for considering environmental parameters is the Seymour Airport at Galapagos

Military airbase[edit]
Main article: Military airbase

Fighter aircraft at an airbase in Lithuania

An airbase, sometimes referred to as an air station or airfield, provides basing and support
of military aircraft. Some airbases, known as military airports, provide facilities similar to their
civilian counterparts. For example, RAF Brize Norton in the UK has a terminal which caters to
passengers for the Royal Air Force's scheduled TriStar flights to the Falkland Islands. Some
airbases are co-located with civilian airports, sharing the same ATC facilities, runways,
taxiways and emergency services, but with separate terminals, parking areas and
hangars. Bardufoss Airport, Bardufoss Air Station in Norway and Pune Airport in India are
examples of this.
An aircraft carrier is a warship that functions as a mobile airbase. Aircraft carriers allow a naval
force to project air power without having to depend on local bases for land-based aircraft. After
their development in World War I, aircraft carriers replaced the battleship as the centrepiece of
a modern fleet during World War II.

Airports in entertainment[edit]
Washington Dulles International Airport, ostensibly the setting for Die Hard 2; the movie was actually
filmed at Los Angeles International Airport

Airports have played major roles in films and television programs due to their very nature as a
transport and international hub, and sometimes because of distinctive architectural features of
particular airports. One such example of this is The Terminal, a film about a man who becomes
permanently grounded in an airport terminal and must survive only on the food and shelter
provided by the airport. They are also one of the major elements in movies such as The
V.I.P.s, Airplane!, Airport (1970), Die Hard 2, Soul Plane, Jackie Brown, Get Shorty, Home
Alone, Liar Liar, Passenger 57, Final Destination (2000), Unaccompanied Minors, Catch Me If
You Can, Rendition and The Langoliers. They have also played important parts in television
series like Lost, The Amazing Race, America's Next Top Model, Cycle 10 which have
significant parts of their story set within airports. In other programmes and films, airports are
merely indicative of journeys, e.g. Good Will Hunting.
Several computer simulation games put the player in charge of an airport. These include
the Airport Tycoon series, simairport And airport ceo.
Filming at airports[edit]
See also: Aircraft spotting
Most airports welcome filming on site, although it must be agreed in advance and may be
subject to a fee. Landside, filming can take place in all public areas. However airside, filming is
sometimes heavily restricted. To film in an airside location, all visitors must go through security,
the same as passengers, and be accompanied by a full airside pass holder and have
photographic identification with them at all times. Filming is strictly prohibited in security,
immigration/customs and baggage reclaim.

Airport directories[edit]
See also: National aviation authority, List of civil aviation authorities, and Aeronautical
Information Service
Each national aviation authority has a source of information about airports in their country. This
will contain information on airport elevation, airport lighting, runway information,
communications facilities and frequencies, hours of operation, nearby NAVAIDs and contact
information where prior arrangement for landing is necessary.

Information can be found on-line in the En route Supplement Australia (ERSA)[19] which
is published by Airservices Australia, a government owned corporation charged with
managing Australian ATC.

Infraero is responsible for the airports in Brazil
Two publications, the Canada Flight Supplement (CFS) and the Water Aerodrome
Supplement, published by NAV CANADA under the authority of Transport
Canada provides equivalent information.

The European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL)
provides an Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP), aeronautical
charts and NOTAM services for multiple European countries.

Provided by the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (Federal Office for Civil Aviation of Germany).

Aviation Generale Delage edited by Delville and published by Breitling.

The United Kingdom and Ireland

The information is found in Pooley's Flight Guide, a publication compiled with the
assistance of the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Pooley's also contains
information on some continental European airports that are close to Great
Britain. National Air Traffic Services, the UK's Air Navigation Service Provider,
a publicprivate partnership also publishes an online AIP for the UK.

The United States

The U.S. uses the Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD), published in seven
volumes. DAFIF also includes extensive airport data.

Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP)[20] is provided by Japan Aeronautical
Information Service Center, under the authority of Japan Civil Aviation Bureau, Ministry
of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan.

A comprehensive, consumer/business directory of

commercial airports in the world (primarily for airports as
businesses, rather than for pilots) is organized by the
trade group Airports Council International.
International airport
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

San Francisco International Airport at night, with departure gates radiating out from the terminal
building, aerobridges, apron, and parked planes

An international airport is an airport that offers customs and immigration facilities for
passengers travelling between countries. International airports are typically larger
than domestic airports and often feature longer runways and facilities to accommodate the
heavier aircraft commonly used for international and intercontinental travel. International
airports often also host domestic flights. Some, such as Heathrow Airport in the United
Kingdom are very large; others such as Fa'a' International Airport in Tahiti, are quite small.
Buildings, operations and management have become increasingly sophisticated since the mid
20th century, when international airports began to provide infrastructure for international civilian
flights. Detailed technical standards have been developed to ensure safety and common
coding systems implemented to provide global consistency. The physical structures that serve
millions of individual passengers and flights are among the most complex and interconnected
in the world. By the second decade of the 21st century, there were over 1,200 international
airports and almost two billion international passengers along with 50 million metric tonnes of
cargo were passing through them annually.


2Design and construction
3Operations and management
o 3.1Standards
o 3.2Flight logistics
o 3.3Customs and immigration
o 3.4Security and safety
o 3.5Transportation
o 3.6Services and amenities
4Airport names
5Notable airports
o 5.1By historical event
o 5.2By passenger numbers
o 5.3Other
6See also
8External links


Qantas Empire Airways International flying boat services arriving at Rose Bay, Sydney (c.1939)

In August 1919, Hounslow Heath Aerodrome, in London, England was the first airport to
operate scheduled international commercial services. It was closed and supplanted
by Croydon Airport in March 1920.[1][2] In the United States, Douglas Municipal
Airport in Arizona became the first international airport of the Americas in 1928.[3]
The precursors to international airports were airfields or aerodromes. In the early days
of international flights, there was limited infrastructure, "although if engine problems arose
there were plenty of places where aircraft could land".[4] Four-engined land planes being
unavailable for over-water operations to international destinations, thus/therefore flying boats
became part of the solution. At the far end of the longest international route (which became
the Kangaroo Route), on-water landing areas were found in places such as Surabaya and in
the open sea off Kupang. In Sydney, Rose Bay, New South Wales, was chosen as the airport
landing area.[4]
International airports sometimes serve military as well as commercial purposes and their
viability is also affected by technological developments. Canton Island Airport, for example, in
the Phoenix Islands (Kiribati), after serving as a military airport during World War II, was used
as a refuelling stop by commercial aircraft such as Qantas which stationed ground crew there
in the late 1950s.[5] The advent in the early 1960s of jet aircraft such as the Boeing 707 with the
range to fly non-stop between Australia or New Zealand and Hawaii, meant that a mid-Pacific
stop was no longer needed and the airport was closed to regular commercial use. Other
international airports, such as Kai Tak Airport in Hong Kong, have been decommissioned and
replaced when they reached capacity or technological advances rendered them inadequate.[6][7]

Design and construction[edit]

Airports have to be designed to fit into the landscape (Nouma Magenta Airport)

The construction and operation of an international airport depends on a complicated set of

decisions that are affected by technology, politics, economics and geography as well as both
local and international law.[8][9][10][11] Designing an airport even for domestic traffic or as "non-hub"
has, from the beginning, required extensive co-ordination between users and interested parties
architects, engineers, managers and staff all need to be involved.[12][13] Airports may also be
regarded as emblematic of national pride and so the design may be architecturally ambitious.
An example is the planned New Mexico City international airport, intended to replace an airport
that has reached capacity.[14]
Airports can be towered or non-towered, depending on air traffic density and available funds.
Because of high capacity and busy airspace, many international airports have air traffic control
located on site.
Some international airports require construction of additional infrastructure outside of the
airport, such as at the Hong Kong International Airport, which included the construction of a
high-speed railway and automobile expressway to connect the airport to the urban areas of
Hong Kong. Construction of the expressway included the construction of two bridges (the Tsing
Ma suspension bridge and Kap Shui Mun cable bridge) and the Ma Wan viaduct on Ma Wan
island to connect the bridges. Each bridge carries rail and automobile traffic.[15]

Operations and management[edit]

A flight information display system screen at Charles de Gaulle Airport's Terminal 2 showing flight

International airports have commercial relationships with and provide services to airlines and
passengers from around the world. Many also serve as hubs, or places where non-direct flights
may land and passengers may switch planes, while others serve primarily direct point-to-
point flights. This affects airport design factors, including the number and placement of
terminals as well as the flow of passengers and baggage between different areas of the airport.
An airport specializing in point-to-point transit can have international and domestic terminals,
each in their separate building equipped with separate baggage handling facilities. In a hub
airport, however, spaces and services are shared.[16]
Airport management have to take into account a wide range of factors, among which are the
performance of airlines, the technical requirements of aircraft, airport-airline relationships,
services for travelling customers, security and environmental impacts.[17]
Technical standards for safety and operating procedures at international airports are set by
international agreements. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), formed in 1945,
is the association of the airline companies. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
is a body of the United Nations succeeding earlier international committees going back to
1903. These two organizations served to create regulations over airports which the airports
themselves had no authority to debate. This eventually sparked an entire subject of air travel
politics. In January 1948, 19 representatives from various US commercial airports met for the
first time in New York City to seek resolution to common problems they each faced, which
initiated the formation of the Airport Operators Council, which later became Airports Council
International North America (ACI-NA). This group included representatives from Baltimore,
Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Los Angeles,
Memphis, Miami, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-Newark, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis,
San Francisco and Washington.[18]
Flight logistics[edit]
International airports have extensive operations in managing flight logistics, such as air traffic
control. The latter service is provided by ground-based controllers who coordinate and direct
aircraft on the ground and through controlled airspace. Air traffic control also provides advisory
services to aircraft in non-controlled airspace.[19]
Customs and immigration[edit]

Passport inspection at Dublin Airport (2007)

Airports with international flights have customs and immigration facilities, which allow right of
entry. These change over time but are generally designated by law.[20] However, as some
countries have agreements that allow connecting flights without customs and immigrations,
such facilities do not define an international airport.
Security and safety[edit]

At Shannon Airport, travelers to the United States can "pre-clear" U.S. immigration (2008)

The current trend of enhancing security at the cost of passenger and baggage handling
efficiency at international airports is expected to continue in the future.[21][22] This places financial
burden on airports, risks the flow of servicing processes, and has implications for the privacy of
passengers.[16] International flights often require a higher level of physical security than
do domestic airports, although in recent years, many countries have adopted the same level of
security for both.
Most international airports feature a "sterile lounge", an area after security checkpoints within
which passengers are free to move without further security checks. This area can have
services such as duty-free shops that sell goods that have been selected and screened with
safety in mind, so that purchasing and bringing them on board flights poses no security risks. In
addition to employees, only processed passengers with a valid ticket are allowed inside the
sterile lounge. Admittance into the sterile area is done in centralized security checkpoints in
contrast to e.g. individual checkpoints at each gate. This allows for more efficient processing of
passengers with fewer staff, as well as makes it possible to detect both delays and security
threats well ahead of boarding.[23]
To ensure the viability of airport operations, new and innovative security systems are being
developed. For instance, the old security checkpoints can be replaced by a "total security area"
encompassing an entire airport, coupled with automatic surveillance of passengers from the
moment they enter the airport until they embark on a plane.[16]
Passengers connecting to domestic flights from an international flight generally must take their
checked luggage through customs and re-check their luggage at the domestic airline counter,
requiring extra time in the process. In some cases in Europe, luggage can be transferred to the
final destination even if it is a domestic connection.
In some cases, travelers and the aircraft can clear customs and immigration at the departure
airport. As one example of this, are airports in Canada with United States border
preclearance facilities. This allows flights from those airports to fly into US airports that do not
have customs and immigration facilities. Luggage from such flights can also be transferred to a
final destination in the U.S. through the airport of entry.
A crucial safety aspect of international airports is medical facilities and practices. In particular,
controlling transmissible disease, such as SARS, is deemed important at international
airports.[24] While these standards are regulated by ICAO Standards And Recommended
Practices (SARPs) and WHO's International Health Regulations (IHR), local authorities have
considerable say in how they are implemented.[25]
Among the most important airport services are further transportation connections, including rail
networks, taxi and shuttle services at curbside pick-up areas, and public buses.[26]Large areas
for automobile parking, often in co-located multi-storey car parks, are also typical to find at
airports. Some airports provide shuttle services to parking garages for passengers and airport
employees.[26] Due to the very large scale of international airports, some have constructed
shuttle services to transport passengers between terminals.[27]Such systems operate for
example, in Singapore Changi Airport and Zurich Airport.
At some U.S. international airports, such as O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, some
seating and waiting areas are located away from the terminal building, with passengers being
shuttled to terminals.[26] These areas may be referred to as ground transportation centers or
intermodal centers.[26] Amenities at ground transportation centers typically include restrooms
and seating, and may also provide ticket counters, food and beverage sales and retail goods
such as magazines.[26] Some ground transportation centers have heating and air conditioning
and covered boarding areas[26] (to protect passengers from the elements).

An internal motorized moving footway to transport passengers within Adolfo Surez Madrid
Barajas Airport, Spain

Curbside passenger pick up area at Terminal 3 Cairo International Airport, Egypt

Rail service at Terminal 2 of Charles de Gaulle Airport in France

Services and amenities[edit]
Standard amenities include public restrooms, passenger waiting areas and retail stores for
dining and shopping,[27] including duty-free shops.[28] Dining establishments may be
consolidated in food courts. Some international airports may offer retail sales of luxury goods at
duty-free stores, such as at Terminal 3 at Indira Gandhi International Airport in India.[28] This
terminal has been described as having become a significant retail destination in India.[28] Wi-
Fi service and access, offices for bureau de change (currency exchange) and tourism advice
are common, although the availability of service varies across airports. Some international
airports provide secure areas for stranded passengers to rest and sleep. The more usual
service is hotels that are available on the premises.

Duty-free shops at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel (2012)

For passengers stranded overnight, secure area at O'Hare International Airport with dimmed lights,
cots, pillows, blankets, and toiletries (2008)[29]

The food court in the restricted area of Terminal 1 at Hong Kong International Airport (2013)
Customer satisfaction awards[edit]
The World Airport Awards are voted by consumers in an independent global customer
satisfaction survey. Singapore Changi Airport has been the first-place winner in 2006, 2010,
2013 and 2014.[30] Other winners include Incheon International Airport (South Korea)
and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (The Netherlands).[31]

Airport names[edit]

An aerial view of Hong Kong International Airport (2010)

Loading passenger luggage at Lisbon Portela International Airport Portugal (2012)

Collecting offloaded passenger luggage from a baggage carousel at Suvarnabhumi International

Airport Bangkok, Thailand (2007)

Toponymy is one of the most common sources for the naming of airports. A number of areas
close to them have lent their names, including villages, estates, city districts, historical areas
and regions, islands and even a waterfall. Cataratas del Iguaz International Airport and Foz
do Iguau International Airport are named after the Iguazu Falls in Argentina. Domodedovo
International Airport is named after the town of Domodedovo. Sometimes the toponym is
combined with or renamed to incorporate another name from another source such as from one
of the following:

Aviators, such as pilots (civil and military) and others who played a role in the
development of aviation. Sydney Airport is also known as Kingsford Smith Airport, named
after Charles Kingsford Smith;[32][33] and Comodoro Arturo Merino Bentez International
Airport, in Chile, is named after Arturo Merino Bentez.[34]
Cultural leaders (poets, artists, writers, musicians) such as Leonardo da VinciFiumicino
Airport, named after Leonardo da Vinci; Liverpool John Lennon Airport, named after The
Beatles member and Liverpool local John Lennon; Tom Jobim Airport, at Rio de
Janeiro named after the composer Antonio Carlos Jobim. Vclav Havel Airport Prague,
named after writer/philosopher/statesman Vclav Havel.[35] Budapest Ferenc Liszt
International Airport and Warsaw Chopin Airport were both renamed after musicians, the
former after Franz Liszt on the 200th anniversary of his birth[36] and the latter after Frdric
Ethnic groups, such as Minangkabau International Airport in Padang, Indonesia, named
after the local Minangkabau people.
Ideals in combination with toponyms, such as Newark Liberty International Airport.
Mythology and religion, such as heroes of epics and myths, church hierarchs and saints
and similar names. Manas International Airport (or Bishkek) in Kyrgyzstan is named
after Manas in the Kyrgyz national epic poem.[38]
Politicians and statesmen, such as Heads of State, Members of parliament and leaders
of political parties as well as high-ranking military personnel. Examples include: Paris-
Charles de Gaulle Airport, named after Charles de Gaulle, John F. Kennedy International
Airport (in New York City), named after John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the U.S.
There are two international airports named after Simn Bolvar, one in Venezuela,[39] and
one in Colombia; Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, formerly known as
Dum Dum Airport, is named after Subhas Chandra Bose[40] and Qubec City Jean Lesage
International Airport, named after former premier Jean Lesage.
Public figures (advocates, engineers, doctors, teachers, journalists or sportpeople), such
as George Best Belfast City Airport, named after footballer George Best, who came from
the city.
Royalty, such as King Fahd International Airport at Dammam, Chhatrapati Shivaji
International Airport at Mumbai, Tribhuvan International Airport at Kathmandu are all
named after royalty.
Scientists such as Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport, named after Guglielmo Marconi.[41]
A study found that 44 percent of the world's international airports are named by toponyms:
named for politicians (thirty percent), aviators (seven percent), mythology and religion (three
percent), public figures (two percent), people of science (two percent) and other (one
Airports also use an IATA-3 letter code to abbreviate the names of all the international airports.

Notable airports[edit]
By historical event[edit]

1919 (August) Hounslow Heath Aerodrome begins operating scheduled international

commercial services from England to France.
1933 Douglas International Airport in Arizona is honored by Eleanor Roosevelt as "the first
international airport of the Americas", having reached this capacity in 1928.[3]
By passenger numbers[edit]

As of 2012, Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International had the greatest number of travelers of
all international airports with a total of 95,462,867 passengers, 13.5 million more than the
next busiest airport which was Beijing Capital International with 81,929,359
passengers.[43] The following year, Hartsfield retained its place as the busiest airport but
with only 94.4 million passengers.[44]
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is considered to have the greatest number of
passengers who start or end their travel there as opposed to continuing on to a connecting
flight. Overall, LAX is considered to be the 7th busiest airport in the world.[45]
London Heathrow is the busiest airport in Europe, with 73,405,330 counted passengers in
2014, almost 10 million more than the second busiest, Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. It is
also the second busiest in the world when measured by international passengers, beaten
only by Dubai International Airport.

Svalbard Airport in Svalbard, Norway is the northern-most airport to which tourists can
book tickets. It is primarily used for transporting miners to and from a cluster of islands with
a heavy mining industry.[46]
King Fahd International Airport, Dammam, Saudi Arabia is the largest airport in the world,
encompassing over 300 square miles (780 km2).[47]
See also[edit]

Aviation portal

Transport portal

Busiest airports in Europe by passenger traffic

Customs airport
List of international airports by country
List of the largest airports in the Nordic countries
World's busiest airport
World's busiest airports by cargo traffic
World's busiest airports by passenger traffic
World's busiest airports by traffic movements

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