Air travel is one of the fastest, safest and most convenient way to travel from one place to another. You can travel thousands of miles within hours. There are more than 40,000 airports across the globe to facilitate air travel. An airport is a complex facility with runways and buildings necessary to support an aircraft’s take-off, landing, and maintenance. They also provide other services such as flight check-in, luggage pick-up/drop-off, and customs and immigration to ensure passengers safely board the plane. Here we take a look at top 10 countries with the most international airports.
Most airports in a country are used only for domestic travel. Only a small number of airports facilitate international travel. An international airport is the one that has customs, immigration, and border control facilities to enable passengers to travel from one country to another. Most international airports also host domestic flights.
International airports tend to be much larger than domestic ones. They have longer runways and other facilities to accommodate heavier airplanes.
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Before we dive into the list of countries with most international airports, let’s take a quick look at countries with most airports (both domestic and international), according to the CIA World Factbook:
- United States (13,513 airports)
- Brazil (4,093)
- Mexico (1,714)
- Canada (1,467)
- Russia (1,218 )
- Argentina (1,138)
- Bolivia (855)
- Colombia (836)
- Paraguay (799)
- Indonesia (673)
These countries have the most international airports:
10- Indonesia, 23
Indonesia has a total of 673 airports, but only 23 of them facilitate international travel. The Asian nation attracts millions of tourists every year from around the world.
9- Brazil, 23
The country with the second largest number of airports has only 23 international airports. Brazil has a total of 4,093 airports, but most of them don’t have paved runways. This South American nation is a tourism heaven, known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife.
8- Spain, 29
Spain has a total of 150 airports, and 29 of them offer international travel. The Madrid-Barajas Airport in Madrid is largest of them, handling close to 50 million passengers every year.
7- Italy, 29
Italy has the same number of international airports as Spain, though the total number of airports in the country is 129. Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in Rome handles more than 40 million passengers and the Malpensa Airport in Milan handles 22 million passengers every year.
6- India, 30
India has a total of 346 airports, and 30 of them facilitate international travel. Two of the country’s biggest airports are the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai.
5- France, 34
France has a total of 464 operational airports, and 34 of them are for international travel. The city of Paris has two airports – Charles de Gaulle Airport and Orly Airport – which together handle close to 100 million passengers every year.
4- Mexico, 36
In terms of the total number of airports, Mexico ranks third with 1,714 airports. But only 36 of them offer international travel. Mexico City International Airport is largest of them, handling more than 40 million passengers every year.
3- China, 65
The world’s most populous and industrialized country has a total of 507 airports, and 65 of them facilitate international travel. The Beijing Capital International Airport is the second busiest airport in the world, handling more than 100 million passengers a year.
2- Russia, 67
Russia has the second largest number of international airports. The country has seen explosive growth in international tourism in the last couple of decades. Moscow has one medium and two large airports, which collectively handle more than 80 million passengers a year.
1- United States, 102
United States tops the list. The country has 13,513 operational airports, and 102 of them facilitate international travel. The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta is the world’s busiest airport, handling more than 107 million passengers annually.