Who would have thought a hundred years ago that air transport would become one of the most popular in the world? Today more and more passengers prefer to travel by plane, because it is a convenient and, most importantly, a fast way of travel. Sometimes this is the only way to communicate between distant countries and hard-to-reach regions.
Due to the growing popularity of air travel, the largest airports in the world resemble an anthill, where millions of people converge and leave. So which ones are really the biggest?
Denver International Airport, USA, 47 million people. This airport is the largest in area in the entire United States, spreading over 142 square kilometers. According to this indicator, it is second only to the node in Dubai. However, despite the scale of the construction, its passenger turnover is only tenth in the world with an indicator of 47 million people a year. The airport occupies the largest area in the United States (142 sq. Km), and is the second largest in the world, after the airport in Dubai. However, despite its scale, Denver airport takes only 10th place in terms of passenger traffic. The large-scale transportation hub was commissioned in 1995 at a cost of $ 4.7 billion. From a distance, the airport looks like rocky snow-capped mountain peaks, thus becoming a local landmark. The Americans initially included in the project the possibility of future expansion of the airport. Its runways are like some swirls that surround the passenger terminals and are directed in different directions. This reduces the queue of aircraft waiting for takeoff. The unusual design of the airport has even spawned several conspiracy theories, and the construction process itself has given considerable food for thought. For example, in the main terminal of the airport there are four canvases by the painter Leo Tangum. These works should symbolize a person's struggle against genocide. Only here are some details of the paintings: three dead girls lying in coffins, a dead leopard, a huge soldier in a gas mask can still unpleasantly surprise travelers. Those who like to find secrets in everything claim that these paintings are allusions to the transformation of the earth, the establishment of a single world government and a new world order.
Hong Kong International Airport, China, 48 million people. This airport is located 34 kilometers from Hong Kong. The Chinese themselves call the Chek Lap Kok transport hub after the artificial island on which the airport is built. In addition, such a name avoids confusion - there is also the old Hong Kong International Airport. The planes began taking off from the island in 1998, and all the work cost the authorities $ 20 billion. Today, many consider Hong Kong International Airport to be the most comfortable in the world. The passenger terminals were designed with the utmost sympathy for people, the layout is simple, there are clear signs everywhere. The presence of three shuttle stations makes it quick and easy to move around the huge building. These facilities allow passengers to travel from the check-in hall to the exit to the departure area and back. Shuttles move at a speed of 62 km / h. Moreover, this type of transport inside the airport is free for passengers.
Frankfurt am Main Airport, Germany, 52 million people. Germany's largest airport is the third largest in Europe and eighth in the world. A distinctive feature of this hub is that there are not only two main huge terminals (by the way, they are connected by a corridor with a moving lane and a bus service), but also a special terminal for VIPs. Frankfurt Airport is central to the national German carrier Lufthansa. This is one of the first places where the automatic baggage sorting system began to function. The airport has four runways and is served by 65 thousand people.
Charles de Gaulle International Airport, France, 60 million people. This airport is the most convenient transfer point in Europe. Two railway stations were built right on its territory, from where you can get to any city in the country. The airport received its name in honor of Charles de Gaulle, the leader of the French Liberation during the Second World War and the founder of the Fifth Republic. And the hub is located 25 kilometers northeast of Paris, just within a few communes. There are three terminals in total. The oldest is Terminal 1, Terminal 2 was originally intended to receive domestic Air France flights, but today it accepts passengers and other companies. And the third terminal is intended for servicing charter flights and low-cost airlines. Interestingly, the airport is built on grassy land. They are famous for their many rabbits and hares, which even aircraft passengers can observe at certain times of the day. Airport workers are forced to periodically go hunting in order to prevent the population from growing to a critical level.
Dallas International Airport, USA, 60 million people. This airport is the largest in the state of Texas. Its second name is Fort Worth, since it is actually not in Dallas, but between itself and the city of Fort Worth. In total, the airport has four terminals and seven takeoff and landing terminals, which serve about a dozen national air carriers and several dozen international ones. Those airlines operating in Dallas give you the opportunity to choose any of 135 domestic and 40 international destinations. Interestingly, Dallas and Fort Wells did not agree to build a joint airport for a long time. Both cities had their own hubs, developing them in every possible way. It was only thanks to an order from the federal authorities that construction of an equidistant airport began in 1969. He took the first flights on January 13, 1974, the entire construction cost $ 700 million. At that time, it was the most expensive and largest airport in the world. Although today it is considered one of the best freight services, the main emphasis is still on passenger transportation - in terms of freight turnover, the airport is only 27th in the world.
Los Angeles International Airport, USA, 60 million people. The international airport has an interesting feature - its nine passenger terminals are arranged in the form of the letters "U", receiving the nickname "horseshoes" for this. And to the terminals, passengers are delivered by special buses, shuttles. The airport has four runways. Flights to North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Oceania depart from here. The airport is the main hub for United Airlines.
Haneda International Airport, Japan, 70 million people. This airport is the largest in Asia in terms of the number of passengers carried. Initially, it was created exclusively for domestic flights, but recently, international flights have taken up an increasing volume. This was the reason for such a sharp increase. The airport building itself has three levels. The lower one is a common building, the second is a round tower with a metal frame and glass walls. And the top of the structure is made in the form of a flat disc. It resembles a wide-brimmed hat from a distance. There are three terminals serving passengers. Interestingly, the main Japanese hub pays special attention to passengers with disabilities. So, for example, for the disabled there are special lifts at the steps, escalators, as well as chairs near the check-in points. There are also quite large play areas for children and places for shopping. The thoughtfulness of the structure is manifested even in the existence of separate zones in toilets for mothers with babies.
Heathrow Airport, England, 70 million people. This airport is considered the busiest in Europe. It is located west of London, and its landing strips are oriented from west to east. This means that the planes take off directly over the capital of England. Another peculiarity of the airport is that it is located quite low in relation to sea level, at only 25 meters. But since the weather in London is often foggy, the runways are simply lost from the pilots' field of vision. In total, about 90 airlines operate in Heathrow, which connect the city with 170 nodes around the world. The airport has a fairly well-developed infrastructure. In the arrival halls, tourists can spend time in the lounges, and priests of various religions work in the prayer areas. Heathrow has restaurants and cafes, saunas and hairdressers, World Shopping stores. It is worth noting that the airport has good transport links to London. In just 15-20 minutes by means of an express train, passengers get to the metropolis. All terminals are also connected to the London Underground line, from here there are regular buses and, of course, licensed taxis.
O'Hare Airport, Chicago, USA, 80 million people. Most recently, this airport was the leader in the number of take-offs and landings, but now it has lost its palm. The reason for this was the restrictions of the federal authorities, which so tried to reduce flight delays. Today every sixth canceled flight in the country takes place here. Chicago has 4 terminals and 9 concourses that provide 186 air exits. The authorities are planning to build several more terminals and a similar complex in the western part of the airport. This site will need to be connected to I-90 or Elgin O'Hara by road, only the runways will need to be reconfigured first. The airport was built in the suburbs of Chicago in 1942-1943, especially for the plant that produces "Douglases". And although the industrial facility moved after the end of the war, the city authorities decided to develop the airport. Moreover, by the early 1950s, it became clear that Chicago International Airport had ceased to cope with its functions. Since 1955, O'Hara received the first commercial flights, and in 1958 an international terminal was built. The peak airport load was observed in 1994 - a thousand flights a day.
Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, Atlanta, USA, 92 million. This node is located just 11 kilometers from the city. It is the Atlanta airport that is the busiest in the world. True, the bulk of its flights are domestic, because in America it is sometimes cheaper to get by plane than by land transport. From here, airlines fly to 260 destinations, including 83 destinations in 54 countries. It is one of the few airports where simultaneous triple landings are possible. And the area of its airport is one of the most, with an indicator of 5.8 million square feet. It is second only to Hong Kong and Bangkok. This hub is the main hub for Delta AirTrain. And the history of the airport began in 1925, when a lease agreement was signed for the former abandoned autodrome. The city chose a plot of 116 hectares to create an airport here. The maiden flight here was made by a mail plane already in 1926, and since 1928 passenger planes began to fly to Atlanta. The airport has been constantly improving, and there is now a $ 9 billion program to increase passenger traffic to 120 million by 2015. There are six runways in total, and 55 thousand people are served by a giant transport hub.