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Top global airports by plane movements: 2010

Find out which airports handled the most flights in 2010.
A clue to which airport handled the most planes last year (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images).
A clue to which airport handled the most planes last year (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images).
Busiest by passengers and by number of flights -- Atlanta (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images).
Busiest by passengers and by number of flights -- Atlanta (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images).
Number two on the list is Chicago (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images).
Number two on the list is Chicago (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images).
DFW is the major hub of American Airlines (Tom Pennington/Getty Images).
DFW is the major hub of American Airlines (Tom Pennington/Getty Images).
Denver is the largest airport in the US by land area (John Moore/Getty Images).
Denver is the largest airport in the US by land area (John Moore/Getty Images).
LAX is currently in line for a revamp of its main international terminal (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)
LAX is currently in line for a revamp of its main international terminal (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)
Houston has direct air links to the Middle East (Dave Einsel/Getty Images).
Houston has direct air links to the Middle East (Dave Einsel/Getty Images).
President Obama boards Air Force One at Charlotte Douglas International Airport  (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images).
President Obama boards Air Force One at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images).
The rise and rise of Beijing's airport continues (AFP/Getty Images).
The rise and rise of Beijing's airport continues (AFP/Getty Images).
A Virgin Atlantic Airways 747-400 taxis in Las Vegas (Ethan Miller/Getty Images).
A Virgin Atlantic Airways 747-400 taxis in Las Vegas (Ethan Miller/Getty Images).
Air France keeps Paris CDG in the top ten.
Air France keeps Paris CDG in the top ten.

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The airports that handle the most passengers may not necessarily be the ones that handle the most planes.

In this feature, LogisticsMiddleEast.com takes a look at the world’s busiest airports in 2010, based on planes landing and taking off.

At the top of the list is Atlanta, which also handled the most passengers last year.

After that, the ranking is dominated by US airports, reflecting the size and importance of the domestic US aviation market. Airports like Heathrow and Tokyo, amongst the busiest when ranked by passengers, do not make the top ten.

The article uses data supplied by Airports Council International, which counts each landing and takeoff of an aircraft.

Read below to find out which airports handled the most flights in 2010.

1. Atlanta (ATL)
Plane movements 950 119
Annual change: -2.1%
About: The world’s busiest airport, both by plane movements and passenger numbers, remains Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta. Although movements were down 2.1% year on year, it still remains comfortably ahead at the top of the chart. The airline’s success is down to its position as a major hub airport for domestic US traffic. It is the base of operations for Delta and AirTran, which has been acquired by Southwest.

2. Chicago (ORD)
Plane movements: 882 614
Annual change: 6.4%
About: Another airport that benefits from its status as a traffic hub is Chicago O’Hare. It serves as the primary hub for United Airlines, which is merging with Continental, and is a major hub for American Airlines. The airport is currently being redeveloped in an effort to increase capacity and reduce the number of delays and cancellations caused by bad weather.

3. Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)
Plane movements: 652 261
Annual change: 2.1%
About: Dallas Fort Worth is the major hub airport of American Airlines and American Eagle. It covers 18,076 acres (7,315 ha) and is one of the five largest airports in the world by land mass. It was the eighth busiest airport in the world by passengers numbers in 2010.

4. Denver (DEN)
Plane movements: 630 089
Annual change: 3.8%
About: The largest airport in the US by land mass acts as the main hub for Frontier Airlines and Great Lakes Airlines, It is also a major hub for United Airlines and Southwest. It uses solar panels to generate a portion of its energy and is known for the works of art dotted around its buildings.

5. Los Angeles (LAX)
Plane movements: 575 835
Annual change: 5.3%
About: Los Angeles, often referred to by the initials ‘L.A.X.’, is the main gateway to California and is a major hub for United, Alaska and American Airlines. It is also a key destination for Southwest, Qantas and Virgin. The Tom Bradley Terminal, the main arrival and departure point for international flights, is scheduled for a much needed renovation.

6. Houston (IAH)
Plane movements: 531 347
Annual change: -1.3%
About: George Bush Intercontinental serves the Greater Houston area of the US oil-producing state of Texas. It has connections to domestic US cities, as well as Central and South America and the Middle East. As a centre for the oil & gas industry, Qatar and Emirates are amongst the international airlines that fly to the airport.

7. Charlotte (CLT)
Plane movements: 529 101
Annual change: 3.9%
About: Charlotte Douglas International Airport is a joint civil-military airport located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is the major hub airport for US Airways’ domestic traffic.

8. Beijing (PEK)
Plane movements: 517 582
Annual change: 6.0%
About: Beijing has emerged over the last five years as one of the world’s key aviation hubs. It was the world’s second busiest airport by passengers in 2010, handling more than 73 million people. It was also eighth on this list, handling more than half a million flights for the first time.

9. Las Vegas (LAS)
Plane movements: 505 591
Annual change: -1.1%
About: McCarran International (LAS) is the main airport serving the US city of Las Vegas. The airport has four runways and serves as a major base of operations for Allegiant Air and Southwest Airlines. It has four runways and two passenger terminals.

10. Paris (CDG)
Plane movements: 499 997
Annual change: -4.8%
About: The seventh busiest airport by passengers last year was the tenth busiest based on plane movements. Although movements dropped slightly below the half million mark, passenger numbers grew 0.4% to cross the 58 million mark. Paris CDG is the home airport of Air France, one of the world’s top ten carriers by passenger numbers.

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