Top five busiest hub airports in the world

Record numbers of people travel by plane as business becomes more globalised. Photo: Reuters

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, USA

Hartsfield-Jackson has been the world's busiest airport for the past 15 years, and is the biggest hub airport in the United States.

Seen from the air, this picture was taken by Daniel Betts.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, seen from the air. Credit: Daniel Betts/Flickr
  • 92,389,023 passengers travel through the airport in 2011
  • The airport is the largest employer in the state of Georgia - 58,000 airline staff work in the vast complex
  • The airport boast six runways

Beijing Capital, China

Beijing Capital International Airport is the main international airport serving Beijing. It has been Asia's busiest airport since 2009.

Terminal 3 seen from the air. It is the world's second biggest airport terminal Credit: Wikipedia/Bostonalejandro
  • 78,675,058 passengers travelled through the airport in 2011
  • In 2008, it added an enormous Terminal 3 in time for the Olympic Games, the second largest airport terminal in the world, after Dubai's International Terminal 3

London Heathrow, UK

Heathrow Airport is Europe's busiest hub airport, where 84 airlines operate flights to 184 destinations in 80 countries.

Heathrow Airport is the Europe's biggest hub airport. Credit: Reuters
  • 69,433,565 passengers travelled through Heathrow Airport in 2011
  • An average of 191,200 passengers arrive and depart from the airport every day
  • The airport has five terminals

Chicago O'Hare, USA

Chicago O'Hare is the second biggest hub in the United States, and until 2005 was the world's busiest airport in terms of takeoffs and landings.

Chicago airport Credit: Reuters
  • 66,701,241 passengers travelled through the airport in 2011
  • It employs 41,300 employees
  • 50 airlines fly to 198 destinations from the hub

Tokyo International, Japan

Haneda Airport is one of the two primary airports that serve the Greater Tokyo area. It is the second busiest airport in Asia, and has four runways.

Haneda Airport in Tokyo Credit: Wikipedia/Takato Murai/
  • 62,584,826 passengers travelled through the airport in 2011
  • Haneda is the third-largest air cargo hub in Japan after Narita and Kansai.

The passenger numbers are counted as the total number who board and depart and passengers in transit are counted once.

Figures from Airports Council International