Number of public and private airports in the United States from 1990 to 2018*
U.S. airports - public and private 1990-2018

How many airports are in the U.S.?



While the number of public use airports in the United States has fallen since 1990, the number of private use airports has increased in recent years. In 2018, there were 5,087 public airports in the U.S., a slight decrease from the 5,145 public airports operating in 2014. Conversely, the number of private airports increased over this period from 13,863 to 14,549.


Public use versus private use airports

The distinction between public and private use airports refers to usage, not ownership. A public use airport is defined by the FAA as ‘an airport available for use by the general public without a requirement for prior approval of the airport owner or operator’, whereas prior approval is required for private use airports. Included here under the term airport are also heliports, seaplane bases, and facilities for other aerial hobbies.

Air passenger traffic in the United States

The last decade has seen consistent increases in the number of domestic passengers carried by major U.S. airlines, the number of international passengers travelling to and from the U.S., and the overall number of passenger-miles flown. It may therefore seem strange that the number of public use airports has decreased. This change can likely be explained, at least in part, by the significant decline in the number of regional flights over this period.
Number of public and private airports in the United States from 1990 to 2018*
Public usePrivate use
185,08714,549
175,10414,263
165,13614,112
145,14513,863
135,15514,009
125,17114,269
115,17214,339
105,17514,353
095,17814,298
085,20214,451
075,22114,839
065,23314,757
055,27014,584
045,28814,532
035,28614,295
025,28614,286
015,29414,062
005,31713,964
955,41512,809
905,58911,901
Loading statistic...
You need to log in to download this statistic
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in
Show detailed source information?
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in
Source

Release date

June 2019

Region

United States

Survey time period

1990 to 2018

Supplementary notes

Includes civil and joint-use civil-military airports, heliports, STOL (short takeoff and landing) ports, and seaplane bases in the United States and its territories. Sole-use military airports are not included.
* 2015 data was not available.

U.S. airports - public and private 1990-2018

How many airports are in the U.S.?



While the number of public use airports in the United States has fallen since 1990, the number of private use airports has increased in recent years. In 2018, there were 5,087 public airports in the U.S., a slight decrease from the 5,145 public airports operating in 2014. Conversely, the number of private airports increased over this period from 13,863 to 14,549.


Public use versus private use airports

The distinction between public and private use airports refers to usage, not ownership. A public use airport is defined by the FAA as ‘an airport available for use by the general public without a requirement for prior approval of the airport owner or operator’, whereas prior approval is required for private use airports. Included here under the term airport are also heliports, seaplane bases, and facilities for other aerial hobbies.

Air passenger traffic in the United States

The last decade has seen consistent increases in the number of domestic passengers carried by major U.S. airlines, the number of international passengers travelling to and from the U.S., and the overall number of passenger-miles flown. It may therefore seem strange that the number of public use airports has decreased. This change can likely be explained, at least in part, by the significant decline in the number of regional flights over this period.
Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $708 / Year
Basic Account
Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.

Premium Account
Your perfect start with Statista
  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references

$59 / Month *

Corporate Account
Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

* All products require an annual contract.
   Prices do not include sales tax.
Statistics on "U.S. airports"
  • Overview
The most important statistics
  • Airport operations
  • Airport infrastructure
  • Main hubs of U.S. airlines
Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $708 / Year
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.