U.S. airports - public and private 1990-2017

Number of public and private airports in the United States from 1990 to 2017*

by E. Mazareanu, last edited Jul 10, 2019
U.S. airports - public and private 1990-2017

How many airports are in the U.S.?


While the number of public use airports in the United States has fallen since 1990, the number of private use airports has increased in recent years. In 2017, there were 5,104 public airports in the U.S., a slight decrease from the 5,145 public airports operating in 2014. Conversely, the number of private airports increased over this period from 13,863 to 14,263.


Public use versus private use airports

The distinction between public and private use airports refers to usage, not ownership. A public use airport is defined by the FAA as ‘an airport available for use by the general public without a requirement for prior approval of the airport owner or operator’, whereas prior approval is required for private use airports. Included here under the term airport are also heliports, seaplane bases, and facilities for other aerial hobbies.

Air passenger traffic in the United States

The last decade has seen consistent increases in the number of domestic passengers carried by major U.S. airlines, the number of international passengers travelling to and from the U.S., and the overall number of passenger-miles flown. It may therefore seem strange that the number of public use airports has decreased. This change can likely be explained, at least in part, by the significant decline in the number of regional flights over this period.
Show more

Number of public and private airports in the United States from 1990 to 2017*

Loading statistic...
Public usePrivate use
175,10414,263
165,13614,112
145,14513,863
135,15514,009
125,17114,269
115,17214,339
105,17514,353
095,17814,298
085,20214,451
075,22114,839
065,23314,757
055,27014,584
045,28814,532
035,28614,295
025,28614,286
015,29414,062
005,31713,964
955,41512,809
905,58911,901
Public usePrivate use
175,10414,263
165,13614,112
145,14513,863
135,15514,009
125,17114,269
115,17214,339
105,17514,353
095,17814,298
085,20214,451
075,22114,839
065,23314,757
055,27014,584
045,28814,532
035,28614,295
025,28614,286
015,29414,062
005,31713,964
955,41512,809
905,58911,901
Download Settings Share
Download started
Please be patient - this may take a moment
by E. Mazareanu, last edited Jul 10, 2019

How many airports are in the U.S.?


While the number of public use airports in the United States has fallen since 1990, the number of private use airports has increased in recent years. In 2017, there were 5,104 public airports in the U.S., a slight decrease from the 5,145 public airports operating in 2014. Conversely, the number of private airports increased over this period from 13,863 to 14,263.


Public use versus private use airports

The distinction between public and private use airports refers to usage, not ownership. A public use airport is defined by the FAA as ‘an airport available for use by the general public without a requirement for prior approval of the airport owner or operator’, whereas prior approval is required for private use airports. Included here under the term airport are also heliports, seaplane bases, and facilities for other aerial hobbies.

Air passenger traffic in the United States

The last decade has seen consistent increases in the number of domestic passengers carried by major U.S. airlines, the number of international passengers travelling to and from the U.S., and the overall number of passenger-miles flown. It may therefore seem strange that the number of public use airports has decreased. This change can likely be explained, at least in part, by the significant decline in the number of regional flights over this period.
Show more
Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $588 / Year
Basic Account
Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.

Premium Account
Your perfect start with Statista
  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references

$49 / Month *

Corporate Account
Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

* All products require an annual contract.
   Prices do not include sales tax.
Leading companies trust Statista:
paypalgoogleadobepgsamsungtelekom
Related Studies: Available to Download in PDF or PPTX Format
U.S. airports
U.S. airports

All Information
in one Presentation

U.S. airports

Everything On "U.S. airports" in One Document: Edited and Divided into Handy Chapters. Including Detailed References.

Other Reports & Dossiers
Statista is a great source of knowledge, and pretty helpful to manage the daily work.
Christof Baron

Christof Baron
CEO, MindShare Germany

Statistics on "U.S. airports"
  • Overview
The most important statistics
  • On-time performance
  • Main hubs of U.S. airlines
  • Atlanta International Airport
  • Chicago O'Hare International Airport
  • Los Angeles International Airport
Discover Statista
Need help with using Statista for your research? Tutorials and first steps
Further Content: Statistics, Studies, and Topic Pages
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.
Do you have any questions about our business solutions?

We provide you with detailed information about our Corporate Account.