International airports are usually better equipped in terms of facilities and aircrafts than domestic airports. They are spread across a larger area than domestic airports and operate many airlines daily, with flights to different countries and continents. In addition to commercial flights, some airports operate cargo flights and military aircrafts. They are primary and secondary hubs to several airlines and serve a passenger traffic of millions daily.
Some international airports are exceptionally famous for their remarkable features. The Beijing Capital International Airport, and Dubai International Airport are among the busy airports in the world. The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the U.S was ranked the busiest airport in the world in 2016. The King Fahd International Airport in Saudi Arabia is the biggest airport in the world in terms of area, covering 78000 hectares. Among the top 10 best-designed airports are the Bilbao Airport and Adolfo SuÂ·rez MadridÃ±Barajas Airport in Spain and the Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan. Hounslow Heath Aerodrome in England was the first airport to start international commercial services. The airport with the longest runway in the world is Qamdo Bamda Airport in China running up to 5500 meters.
Facilities & Services
A wide range of facilities that include free Wi-Fi, advanced baggage services, luggage storage, elevators, moving walkways, security check points, ATMs, money exchange counters, information counters, rental car service companies, airport buses and taxis, and shuttles for inter-airport transit are available at the international airports. Also, there are customs and immigration facilities for foreigners. Baby change rooms, nursing rooms, shower rooms, spa and massage centers, VIP lounges, etc. are the other provisions.
For passengers to shop and relax, brand outlets like MAC cosmetics, Michael Kors, Juicy Couture, etc. and many duty-free shops are present. There are several restaurants and cafes from where you can grab food while you wait for a flight. McDonaldÃs, Subway, and other fast food chains have outlets at the airports.
Key Services at the Airports
Commercial facilities include the various shopping and dining options. Duty and tax-free shops are an example. Services for the transport of cargo are provided by dedicated airlines such as Lufthansa Cargo, FedEx Express, Cathay Pacific Cargo, and China Airlines Cargo. Some airports have military air bases for the operation of military aircraft and facilities like revetments and underground hangars for the aircraft. Also, few airports in the U.S have USO Lounges that involve recreational activities to boost the morale of the members of U.S military and their families. You can opt for concierge and VIP services to help you through immigration and customs, with transit from the airport, and other things.
Major Infrastructure of the Airports
Airports have 2 divisions- airside area and landside area. The airside area includes runways, taxiways, hangars, and the airport apron. Access to the airside area is only after a security check. Passengers and airport staff are allowed inside the airside area. The landside area includes parking lots, check-ins, and access roads.
An IATA code or location identifier is a 3-letter code that designates an airport and is assigned by the International Air Transport Association.
Air Traffic Control (ATC) is a service provided by air controllers from ground-based stations for an orderly flow of air traffic. Advisory services are provided when ATC is not necessary or not available for a reason.
Aerodromes are locations from where aircraft operations take place.
The Ground Crew are people responsible for the maintenance of the aircraft on the ground.
ICAO codes or location indicators are codes assigned by the International Civil Aviation Organization and used for ATC and other operations.
ACI (Airports Council International) is only airport trade representative of the world. It deals with developing standards, setting policies and practices, etc. for the airports globally.