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An aerial photograph of San Francisco International Airport at night, showing departure gates radiating out from the terminal building, aerobridges, apron and parked planes (2005)

An international airport is an airport that offers customs and immigration facilities for passengers travelling between countries. International airports are typically larger than domestic airports and often feature longer runways and facilities to accommodate the heavier aircraft commonly used for international and intercontinental travel. International airports often also host domestic flights. Some, such as Frankfurt Airport in Germany are very large; others such as Fa'a'ā International Airport in Tahiti, are quite small.

Buildings, operations and management have become increasingly sophisticated since the mid 20th century, when international airports began to provide infrastructure for international civilian flights. Detailed technical standards have been developed to ensure safety and common coding systems implemented to provide global consistency. The physical structures that serve millions of individual passengers and flights are among the most complex and interconnected in the world. By the second decade of the 21st century, there were over 1,200 international airports and almost two billion international passengers along with 50 million metric tonnes of cargo were passing through them annually.


International airport sections
Intro   History    Design and construction    Operations and management    Airport names    Notable airports    See also    References    External links   

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