If you’ve ever looked out the window of a plane as it descends towards an airport, you may have noticed a maze of criss-crossing runways on the ground below. Have you ever wondered which airport has the most runways in the world?

With the constant growth in air travel, some of the busiest airports require multiple runways to handle all of the takeoffs and landings. In this article, we’ll explore the airports with the most runways globally and the reasons behind their extensive runway networks.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado has the most runways of any airport in the world with 6 runways.

Denver International Airport Has 6 Runways

When it comes to airports with the most runways, Denver International Airport takes the lead with a total of 6 runways. Since its opening in 1995, the airport has been serving as a major hub for both domestic and international flights.

Opened in 1995 to Replace the Old Stapleton Airport

Denver International Airport was built to replace the aging Stapleton International Airport, which had become overcrowded and unable to meet the increasing demands of air travel. The new airport was designed to provide a more efficient and modern infrastructure to accommodate the growing number of passengers.

The construction of Denver International Airport was not without its challenges. It faced numerous delays and controversies, but eventually opened its doors to the public in 1995. Since then, it has become one of the busiest airports in the United States.

Designed to Accommodate Future Growth in Passenger Traffic

One of the main reasons why Denver International Airport has 6 runways is to accommodate the expected growth in passenger traffic. The airport was strategically designed to handle a significant increase in the number of flights and passengers in the future.

With its multiple runways, Denver International Airport has the capacity to handle a high volume of flights simultaneously, ensuring efficient operations and minimizing delays. This is particularly crucial considering the airport’s location as a major transportation hub in the United States.

Complex System of Runways, Taxiways, and Aircraft Gates

The six runways at Denver International Airport are part of a complex system that includes taxiways and aircraft gates. This intricate network allows for seamless movement of aircraft, ensuring smooth operations and minimizing congestion.

The airport’s runways are designed to accommodate various types of aircraft, from small regional jets to large international airliners. This versatility enables Denver International Airport to handle a wide range of flights, both domestic and international.

For more information about Denver International Airport and its runways, you can visit their official website: https://www.flydenver.com.

Beijing Capital International Airport Comes in Second with 5 Runways

Beijing Capital International Airport, located in the capital city of China, is renowned for its size and capacity. With a total of 5 runways, it is one of the busiest airports in the world. While it may not have the most runways globally, it still holds an impressive position when it comes to air traffic and passenger volume.

Second Busiest Airport in the World by Passenger Traffic

Beijing Capital International Airport is the second busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic. In 2019, it handled over 100 million passengers, solidifying its position as one of the key hubs connecting China with the rest of the world.

The airport serves as a major gateway for both domestic and international flights, accommodating a wide range of airlines and destinations.

Three Runways for Commercial Flights and Two for Military

Out of the five runways at Beijing Capital International Airport, three are primarily used for commercial flights, while the remaining two are dedicated to military operations. This unique arrangement allows for efficient management of air traffic, ensuring smooth operations for both civilian and military aircraft.

By having separate runways for military use, the airport can balance the needs of military aviation while maintaining a high level of safety and efficiency for commercial flights. This dual-use setup is a testament to the airport’s adaptability and capability to cater to various aviation requirements.

Ongoing Expansion Projects to Meet Growing Demand

As air travel continues to grow in China and globally, Beijing Capital International Airport recognizes the need for expansion to accommodate the increasing demand. The airport has undertaken several expansion projects, including the construction of new terminals and the addition of runways to enhance its capacity.

By investing in infrastructure improvements, Beijing Capital International Airport aims to further strengthen its position as a global aviation hub. These expansion projects not only support the growing number of passengers but also contribute to the development of Beijing as an international hub for business and tourism.

To stay up to date with the latest news and developments at Beijing Capital International Airport, you can visit their official website at https://www.bcia.com.cn.

Other Major Airports with an Extensive Runway Network

Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

Chicago O’Hare International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the United States and is renowned for its extensive runway network. It currently has a total of 7 runways, making it one of the airports with the highest number of runways in the world.

This impressive infrastructure allows for smooth operations and efficient air traffic management.

With its strategic location and state-of-the-art facilities, Chicago O’Hare International Airport serves as a major hub connecting travelers from around the globe. It offers a wide range of domestic and international flights, making it a crucial gateway to North America.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, located in Texas, is another airport that boasts an extensive runway network. It currently has a total of 7 runways, similar to O’Hare International Airport. Serving as a major hub for American Airlines, DFW offers a wide range of domestic and international flights, connecting passengers to various destinations worldwide.

The airport’s runway system plays a pivotal role in handling the high volume of air traffic efficiently. With its modern infrastructure and commitment to customer satisfaction, DFW continues to be a top choice for travelers from around the world.

Frankfurt Airport (FRA)

Frankfurt Airport, located in Germany, is one of the busiest airports in Europe and is known for its extensive runway network. It currently has a total of 4 runways, which may seem fewer compared to the previous airports mentioned, but it still allows for efficient operations.

As one of the major hubs for Lufthansa, Frankfurt Airport connects passengers to numerous domestic and international destinations. Its strategic location in the heart of Europe makes it a crucial transit point for travelers from various parts of the world.

London Heathrow Airport (LHR)

London Heathrow Airport is the busiest airport in the United Kingdom and one of the busiest in the world. While it may not have the highest number of runways, with a total of 2 runways, it compensates with its impressive infrastructure and advanced air traffic management systems.

Heathrow Airport serves as a major hub for British Airways, offering a wide range of domestic and international flights. Its strategic location near London makes it a popular choice for travelers visiting the UK or connecting to other destinations in Europe and beyond.

It’s important to note that while these airports have an extensive runway network, there are other factors to consider when determining the overall efficiency and quality of an airport. These include terminal facilities, customer service, flight connectivity, and overall passenger experience.

For more information about these airports and their runway networks, you can visit their official websites:


In conclusion, Denver International Airport holds the record for having the most runways of any airport in the world with 6 runways. This extensive runway system was designed to accommodate Denver’s growth as an airport hub and transit point.

Beijing Capital International comes in second with 5 runways catering to soaring commercial and military air traffic. Several other major international airports like Chicago O’Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth also have 4+ runways to handle heavy passenger volumes.

The busiest aviation hubs require multiple runways to keep air traffic flowing smoothly and minimize delays. So next time you’re flying, see if you can count the number of runways as you descend into one of the world’s largest airports.

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