Some of the world’s largest airports are in the Middle East, spread over large areas in the desert. Saudi Arabia has three of the world’s largest airports and they are expanding every year. Other large airports are found in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Some of the largest airports have up to six runways, while some of the world’s busiest airports still have only one runway. The world’s 10 largest airports in terms of square miles are graded from the largest down.
King Fahd International Airport (KFIA)
King Fahd International Airport at Damman in Saudi Arabia is the largest airport by area, covering a massive 485 square miles, which is bigger than the neighboring country Bahrain.
Montréal-Mirabel International Airport (YMX)
Canada’s largest airport, also known as the Mirabel, covers an area of 221 square miles and is 24 miles northwest of Montreal. It was the largest airport in the world until it was surpassed by King Fahd International Airport in 1999; it is now the world’s second largest airport. The Mirabel has two runways.
King Khaled International Airport (KKIA)
King Khaled International Airport, founded in 1983, covers an area of 137 square miles, serving the domestic and international transport needs of Riyadh City in Saudi Arabia. The airport features two parallel runways, a mosque, a royal gallery, shopping center and a separate air cargo complex. More than half a million square feet of desert plant landscaping surround the airport.
Dubai World Central -- Al Maktoum International (DWC-AMI)
Al Maktoum International Airport is under heavy re-construction and when it is finished and fully operational, in 2017, it will have six 2.7-mile-long runways. There will be underground parking for 100,000 cars and it will handle four simultaneous landings. A new section is opening for international flights in 2011. The airport is designed to handle 120 million passengers per year, which would make it the busiest airport in the world. This airport is the fourth largest in the world.
Denver International Airport (DIA)
Denver International Airport has an area of 85 square miles and it features six separate runways, all in use at the same time. Although not the busiest U.S. airport, Denver International Airport is the largest airport in the United States.
King Abdulaziz International Airport, (KAIA)
Serving the city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz International Airport is another huge airport in Saudi Arabia that is also part of a massive expansion project. The airport covers an area of 65 square miles. Jeddah is the home base for the airline Saudia or Saudi Arabian Airlines.
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is large enough to have its own post office as well as its own ZIP code. It is the largest airport in Texas, the second largest airport in the United States and the seventh largest airport in the world. Dallas/Fort Worth International airport covers an area of 44 square miles and has seven runways.
Charles de Gaulle Paris (CDG)
Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France, is another of the world’s largest airports, covering an area of more than 19 square miles. It is also known as Roissy Airport and is 16 miles southeast of Paris. In 2010 Charles de Gaulle airport handled 58,164,612 passengers.
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
The John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York is the sixth largest airport in the world. It is also one of the world’s busiest international airports, although it is not as busy or as large as Dallas/Fort Worth International. JFK covers an area of 12 square miles and is in southeastern New York City on the edge of Jamaica Bay.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
San Francisco International Airport overlooks San Francisco Bay and is spread over an area of 13 square miles, making it the ninth largest airport in the world. It has four runways and handled more than 39 million passengers in 2010.