Source: Airports Council International. Note: airports having a
traffic above 4 million passengers (N=268).
(Detailed PDF Map)
Passenger Traffic at the World's Largest Airports, 2010
Passenger air travel is linked with the level of economic
development and the structure of the regional urban system. There are three major concentrations of airports around
air traffic is articulated:
Western Europe and
East Asia. The key airports of these platforms, or rather
the main airport cities since they count more than one airport, are New York, London and Tokyo.
They correspond to the world's most prominent cities and the most important financial centers.
Yet, this supremacy is being challenged by new hubs of activity
such as Beijing and Dubai. There is thus a direct relationship between the level of air
passenger traffic and the primacy of a city in the world urban
system. In some cases, the level of passenger activity is related to
a pronounced touristic or resort function of an area (e.g. Las
Vegas, Orlando, Cancun, Venice, Palma de Mallorca).
Large airport terminals are also seeing a substantial
concentration of related activities such as distribution centers,
just-in-time manufacturers, office parks, hotels, restaurants, and
convention centers. Airport traffic figures must be considered with
caution as depending on a trip sequence a passenger can be
counted several times. For instance, a passenger flying a roundtrip between New York and Copenhagen by transiting through
Amsterdam would count for a total of 8 passenger movements for the
respective airports; 2 for New York and Copenhagen (arriving and departing) and 4 for Amsterdam (arriving and
departing for both inbound and outbound