International airport

International airport

Overview


An international airport is any airport
Airport
An airport is a location where aircraft such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and blimps take off and land. Aircraft may be stored or maintained at an airport...

 that can accommodate flights from other countries and are typically equipped with customs
Customs
Customs is an authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting and safeguarding customs duties and for controlling the flow of goods including animals, transports, personal effects and hazardous items in and out of a country...

 and immigration
Immigration
Immigration is the act of foreigners passing or coming into a country for the purpose of permanent residence...

 facilities to handle these flights to and from other countries. Such airports are usually larger, and often feature longer runway
Runway
According to ICAO a runway is a "defined rectangular area on a land aerodrome prepared for the landing and take-off of aircraft." Runways may be a man-made surface or a natural surface .- Orientation and dimensions :Runways are named by a number between 01 and 36, which is generally one tenth...

s and facilities to accommodate the large aircraft commonly used for international or intercontinental travel. International airports often host domestic flights (flights which occur within the country) in addition to international flights.
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Encyclopedia


An international airport is any airport
Airport
An airport is a location where aircraft such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and blimps take off and land. Aircraft may be stored or maintained at an airport...

 that can accommodate flights from other countries and are typically equipped with customs
Customs
Customs is an authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting and safeguarding customs duties and for controlling the flow of goods including animals, transports, personal effects and hazardous items in and out of a country...

 and immigration
Immigration
Immigration is the act of foreigners passing or coming into a country for the purpose of permanent residence...

 facilities to handle these flights to and from other countries. Such airports are usually larger, and often feature longer runway
Runway
According to ICAO a runway is a "defined rectangular area on a land aerodrome prepared for the landing and take-off of aircraft." Runways may be a man-made surface or a natural surface .- Orientation and dimensions :Runways are named by a number between 01 and 36, which is generally one tenth...

s and facilities to accommodate the large aircraft commonly used for international or intercontinental travel. International airports often host domestic flights (flights which occur within the country) in addition to international flights. In many smaller countries most airports are international airports, so the concept of an "international airport" has little meaning. In certain countries however, there is a sub-category of limited international airports which handle international flights, but are limited to short-haul destinations (often due to geographical factors) or are mixed civilian/military airports.

Naming


Many airports with regularly scheduled international service have the word "International" in their official names, but others, including such major airports as London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport or Heathrow , in the London Borough of Hillingdon, is the busiest airport in the United Kingdom and the third busiest airport in the world in terms of total passenger traffic, handling more international passengers than any other airport around the globe...

, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport , usually called Detroit Metro Airport, Metro Airport locally, or simply DTW, is a major international airport covering in Romulus, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. It is Michigan's busiest airport....

, and George Bush Intercontinental Airport
George Bush Intercontinental Airport
George Bush Intercontinental Airport, is a Class B international airport in Houston, Texas, serving the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area, the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the United States. Located north of Downtown Houston between Interstate 45 and U.S. Highway 59...

 do not. Conversely, some airports which call themselves international airports, especially in smaller United States cities, in fact have no scheduled international airline passenger service but do have customs and immigration facilities serving charter, cargo and general aviation flights. At many of these airports customs and immigration services are only available with several hours advance notice. One example of such an airport is Gerald R. Ford International Airport
Gerald R. Ford International Airport
Gerald R. Ford International Airport is a commercial airport located approximately southeast of Grand Rapids, Michigan in Cascade Township. Originally called Kent County Airport and later Kent County International Airport; in December 1999 the airport was renamed for former resident Gerald R....

 in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. The city is located on the Grand River about 40 miles east of Lake Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 188,040. In 2010, the Grand Rapids metropolitan area had a population of 774,160 and a combined statistical area, Grand...

. A few, such as Gary/Chicago International Airport
Gary/Chicago International Airport
Gary/Chicago International Airport is a public airport located three miles northwest of the central business district of Gary, a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. The airport, which serves the Chicago metropolitan area, is 25 miles southeast of the Chicago Loop...

 in Gary, Indiana
Gary, Indiana
Gary is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. The city is in the southeastern portion of the Chicago metropolitan area and is 25 miles from downtown Chicago. The population is 80,294 at the 2010 census, making it the seventh-largest city in the state. It borders Lake Michigan and is known...

, are in fact not international airports at all; they are not designated as airports of entry but aspire to become such in the future and added "international airport" to their names as a marketing tool.

International in name only


Other airports which previously served international flights now serve primarily domestic flights (international traffic having been redirected to a newer, larger airport in the area), but retain the "international" designation in their name. Examples of these are:
  • Don Mueang International Airport (Old Bangkok Int'l), in Bangkok
    Bangkok
    Bangkok is the capital and largest urban area city in Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep , meaning "city of angels." The full name of Bangkok is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom...

    , Thailand
    Thailand
    Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

    , relieved by Suvarnabhumi Airport
    Suvarnabhumi Airport
    Suvarnabhumi Airport , also known as Bangkok International Airport, is an international airport serving Bangkok, Thailand. It was officially opened for limited domestic flight service on 15 September 2006, and opened for most domestic and all international commercial flights on 28 September...

  • Taipei Songshan Airport
    Taipei Songshan Airport
    Taipei Songshan Airport or Taipei Sungshan Airport is a midsize commercial airport and military airbase located in Songshan, Taipei, Taiwan...

     in Taipei
    Taipei
    Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

    , Taiwan
    Taiwan
    Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

     (which retains its name as "Taipei International Airport" in Chinese), relieved by Taoyuan International Airport.
  • Gimpo International Airport
    Gimpo International Airport
    Gimpo International Airport , commonly known as Gimpo Airport , is located in the far western end of Seoul and was the main international airport for Seoul and South Korea before it was replaced by Incheon International Airport in 2001...

     in Seoul
    Seoul
    Seoul , officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world...

    , South Korea
    South Korea
    The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

    , relieved by Incheon International Airport
    Incheon International Airport
    Incheon International Airport is the largest airport in South Korea, the primary airport serving the Seoul national capital area, and one of the largest and busiest airports in the world...

  • Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport in Shanghai
    Shanghai
    Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

    , People's Republic of China
    People's Republic of China
    China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

    , relieved by Pudong International Airport.

Operations


Many international airports also serve as "hubs", or places where non-direct flights may land and passengers switch planes. International airports often have many airlines represented, and many of these are often foreign.

Passengers connecting to domestic flights from an international flight generally must take their checked luggage through customs and re-check their luggage at the domestic airline counter, requiring extra time in the process. In some cases in Europe luggage can be transferred to the final destination even if it is a domestic connection.

In some cases, travelers and the aircraft can clear customs and immigration at the departure airport. As one example of this, are airports in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 with United States border preclearance
United States border preclearance
The United States operates border preclearance facilities at a number of ports and airports in foreign countries. They are staffed and operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers. Travelers pass through Immigration and Customs, Public Health, and Department of Agriculture inspections...

 facilities. This allows flights from those airports to fly into US airports that do not have customs and immigration facilities, on a non-scheduled basis. Luggage from such flights can also be transferred to a final destination in the U.S. through the airport of entry.

See also


  • Airport of Entry
    Airport of Entry
    An airport of entry is an airport that provides customs and immigration services for incoming flights. These services allow the airport to serve as an initial port of entry for foreign visitors arriving in a country.-Africa:-Americas:-Asia:...

  • Border checkpoint
    Border checkpoint
    A border checkpoint is a place, generally between two countries, where travellers and/or goods are inspected. Authorization often is required to enter a country through its borders. Access-controlled borders often have a limited number of checkpoints where they can be crossed without legal...

  • Civil enclave
    Civil enclave
    A Civil Enclave is an area allotted at an airport belonging to the armed forces, for the usage of civil aircraft and civil aviation related services....

  • Domestic airport
    Domestic airport
    A domestic airport is an airport which handles only domestic flights or flights within the same country. Domestic airports don't have customs and immigration facilities and are therefore incapable of handling flights to or from a foreign airport....

  • Regional airport
  • List of international airports by country
  • World's busiest airport
    World's busiest airport
    The definition of the world's busiest airport has been specified by the Airports Council International in Geneva, Switzerland. The ACI defines and measures the following three types of airport traffic:...

  • World's busiest airports by passenger traffic
    World's busiest airports by passenger traffic
    The world's busiest airports by passenger traffic are measured by number of total passengers . One passenger is described as someone who arrives in, departs from, or transfers through the airport on a given day...

  • World's busiest airports by traffic movements
    World's busiest airports by traffic movements
    The thirty world's busiest airports by aircraft movements are measured by total movements . One total movement is a landing or take off of an aircraft.- 2010 final statistics :-2009 final statistics:...

  • World's busiest airports by cargo traffic
    World's busiest airports by cargo traffic
    The world's thirty busiest airports by cargo traffic for various periods . Numbers listed refer to loaded and unloaded freight in metric tonnes.-2010 final statistics:...

  • Busiest airports in Europe by passenger traffic
  • List of the largest airports in the Nordic countries

  • United States border preclearance
    United States border preclearance
    The United States operates border preclearance facilities at a number of ports and airports in foreign countries. They are staffed and operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers. Travelers pass through Immigration and Customs, Public Health, and Department of Agriculture inspections...