Thanks to the size of the continent, the vast distances between its major cities, and the less than idea state of some of its road networks, Asian airports are continually growing in importance. Below, we take a look at some of the regionís busiest.
Beijing Capital (airport code PEK)
Beijing Airport, controlled by Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), is China's largest and busiest airport. It sees 26 million passengers pass through its doors every year. The building contains three terminals, covering a total area of nearly two million m2. More than 100 international and domestic flights are scheduled every hour.
Hong Kong (HKG)
This is the world's second busiest airport in terms of cargo movements, with 3.63 million tons in 2008. In 2005, it was awarded with 'Airport of the Year' for the fifth consecutive time by SkyTrax. The airport's two terminals handle 48.6 million passengers every year, with 650 flights arriving and departing daily.
Shanghai Pu Dong International (PVG)
Pudong is the world's third busiest airport for freight traffic. Situated about 30 km from the city centre, it connects to more than 50 domestic destinations and 70 international destinations, with passenger numbers reaching 60 million per year.
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai (BOM)
Mumbai airport is the busiest in India and the major gateway to international air traffic coming into the country. The airport was completed in 1948, after the Indian government decided the existing Juhu aerodrome occupied a position that was too exposed and low level. Two main terminals, Terrminal 1 (Santa Cruz) for domestic flights and Terminal 2 (Sahar) for international flights. It handles 25 million passengers a year.
Indira Gandhi International, Delhi (IGIA)
IGIA is the busiest in India in terms of daily flight operations and second busiest in terms of passenger volume, handling both international and domestic flights. Established during World War II as an airforce base, the airport now has four terminals, including Terminal 3, at 502,000 m2, the eighth largest passenger terminal in the world, capable of processing 34 million passengers annually.
Tokyo Haneda International Airport (HND)
Haneda Airport is close to Kawasaki and Yokohama, 15 km south-west of central Tokyo on the island of Honshu. As an important hub for Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways, the airport enjoys good links central Tokyo by road, rail and monorail. Originally the main international airport serving Tokyo, Haneda now serves mainly domestic routes. It is still the busiest airport in Japan and the fourth busiest airport in the world, handling over 65 million passengers a year.
Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT)
Narita is situated in the east of the Greater Tokyo region, 65 km north-east of Tokyo city centre, within the city of Narita. The airport is Japan's major international air facility, providing links to cities in Asia, Europe and North America. It is the country's second airport and its main cargo hub, and is the world's 27th-busiest airport, serving 32 million travellers annually.
Osaka Kansai International Airport (KIX)
Osaka's new airport was build on a manmade island 50 km to the south-west of the city centre. It is Japan's second busiest, with its single terminal having the distinction of being the largest terminal building in the world. Flights from Kansai connect to 72 cities in 32 countries through 50 airlines, with a throughput of some 17 million passengers per year, roughly a third of which are domestic..