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Airports in the United States - Statistics & Facts

As of February 2020, there were over 19,600 airports and similar facilities in use in the United States. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the agency in charge of the country’s civil aviation, including the construction and operation of airports. As of October 2019, around 133.3 billion U.S. dollars were spent on airport infrastructure in the North America.

The different types of airports in the U.S.

There are different types of airports based on the type of activities that take place there. The most common type is the commercial airport. Commercial service airports are publicly owned airports with at least 2,500 passengers boarding every year. A commercial airport can either be a primary airport or a non-primary airport. The FAA differentiates primary and non-primary airports by the number of enplanements. A non-primary airport is an aerodrome with less than 10,000 passengers boarding each year. A primary airport is an aerodrome for passenger services with over 10,000 enplanements annually. A primary airport can be further broken down into four categories based on the share of overall passenger boardings: non hubs account for under 0.05 percent of the overall enplanements; small hubs - between 0.05 and 0.25 percent; medium hubs - between 0.25 and one percent; and large hubs account for over one percent of the total U.S. enplanements. Delaware is the only U.S. state without a primary airport.

American airports, leaders around the globe

The United States is home to some of the world’s busiest and most punctual airports. Atlanta’s Hartfield-Jackson International Airport handled over 42.9 million passengers in 2020, making it the world’s second busiest airport amid the COVID-19 pandemic. During the same year, Hartsfield-Jackson International was also one of the leading airports in terms of aircraft operations.

Chicago O’Hare International had the second largest number of airport operations in the U.S. With total operating revenue of over 900 million U.S. dollars, the airport is one of United’s main operating hubs, handling some 3.4 million passengers from United’s flights in 2020. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, was ranked third in airport operations. With around 557,000 flights arriving and departing, the airport handled around 47.4 million passengers from October 2019 to September 2020.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 33 most important statistics relating to "Airports in the United States".


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