The Info List - London Heathrow Airport

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Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport
(also known as London
Heathrow)[2] (IATA: LHR, ICAO: EGLL) is a major international airport in London, United Kingdom. Heathrow is the second busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic (surpassed by Dubai International in 2014), as well as the busiest airport in Europe by passenger traffic, and the seventh busiest airport in the world by total passenger traffic. In 2017, it handled a record 78.0 million passengers, a 3.1% increase from 2016.[1] Heathrow lies 14 miles (23 km) west of Central London,[3] and has two parallel east–west runways along with four operational terminals on a site that covers 12.27 square kilometres (4.74 sq mi). The airport is owned and operated by Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport
Holdings, which itself is owned by FGP TopCo Limited, an international consortium led by Ferrovial
that also includes Qatar
Holding LLC, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, GIC Private Limited, Alinda Capital Partners, China Investment Corporation
China Investment Corporation
and Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).[4] London
Heathrow is the primary hub for British Airways
British Airways
and the primary operating base for Virgin Atlantic. In September 2012, the UK government established the Airports Commission, an independent commission chaired by Sir Howard Davies to examine various options for increasing capacity at UK airports. In July 2015, the commission backed a third runway at Heathrow, which the government approved in October 2016.[5][6][7]


1 Location 2 History 3 Operations

3.1 Facilities 3.2 Flight movements 3.3 Regulation 3.4 Security

4 Terminals

4.1 Terminal 1 (Closed) 4.2 Terminal 2 4.3 Terminal 3 4.4 Terminal 4 4.5 Terminal 5 4.6 Terminal assignments

5 Airlines and destinations

5.1 Passenger 5.2 Cargo

6 Traffic and statistics

6.1 Overview 6.2 Annual traffic statistics 6.3 Busiest routes

7 Other facilities 8 Access

8.1 Public transport

8.1.1 Train 8.1.2 Bus and coach

8.2 Inter-terminal transport 8.3 Taxi 8.4 Car 8.5 Bicycle

9 Incidents and accidents

9.1 Terrorism and security incidents 9.2 Other incidents

10 Future expansion and plans

10.1 Runway
and terminal expansion 10.2 Heathrow railway hub 10.3 Airtrack 10.4 Heathrow/Gatwick rail link 10.5 Heathrow City

11 See also 12 Notes 13 References

13.1 Citations 13.2 Bibliography

14 External links


A Qantas
Boeing 747-400
Boeing 747-400
on approach to London
Heathrow 27L runway.[8]

Heathrow is 14 mi (23 km) west of central London,[3] near the south end of the London
Borough of Hillingdon on a parcel of land that is designated part of the Metropolitan Green Belt. The airport is surrounded by the villages of Harlington, Harmondsworth, Longford and Cranford to the north and by Hounslow
and Hatton to the east. To the south lie Bedfont
and Stanwell
while to the west Heathrow is separated from Slough
in Berkshire by the M25 motorway. Heathrow falls entirely under the Twickenham postcode area, with the postcode TW6. As the airport is located west of London
and as its runways run east–west, an airliner's landing approach is usually directly over the conurbation of London
when the wind is from the west, which is most of the time. Along with Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, Southend and London
City, Heathrow is one of six airports with scheduled services serving the London
area, although only Heathrow and London
City are within Greater London.


Aerial photo of Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport
from the 1950s, before the terminals were built

For a chronicled history of Heathrow Airport, see History of Heathrow Airport.

Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport
originated in 1929 as a small airfield (Great West Aerodrome) on land south-east of the hamlet of Heathrow from which the airport takes its name. At that time there were farms, market gardens and orchards there: there was a "Heathrow Farm" about where Terminal 1 is now, a "Heathrow Hall" and a "Heathrow House". This hamlet was largely along a country lane (Heathrow Road) which ran roughly along the east and south edges of the present central terminals area. Development of the whole Heathrow area as a very much larger airport began in 1944: it was stated to be for long-distance military aircraft bound for the Far East. But by the time the airfield was nearing completion, World War II
World War II
had ended. The government continued to develop the airport as a civil airport; it opened as London
Airport in 1946 and was renamed Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport
in 1966. The masterplan[clarification needed] for the airport was designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd, who designed the original terminals and central area buildings, including the original control tower and the multi-faith chapel of St George's. Operations[edit] Facilities[edit]

Central waiting area in Terminal 5

G-BOAB in storage at Heathrow

Four aircraft on the approach to Heathrow runway 09L

Heathrow's control tower

British Airways
British Airways
aircraft at Terminal 5C

Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport
is used by over 80 airlines flying to 185 destinations in 84 countries. The airport is the primary hub of British Airways
British Airways
and is a base for Virgin Atlantic. It has four passenger terminals (numbered 2 to 5) and a cargo terminal. Of Heathrow's 73.4 million passengers in 2014, 93% were international travellers; the remaining 7% were bound for (or arriving from) places in the UK.[9] The busiest single destination in passenger numbers is New York, with over 3 million passengers flying between Heathrow and JFK Airport in 2013.[10] In the 1950s, Heathrow had six runways, arranged in three pairs at different angles in the shape of a hexagram (✡) with the permanent passenger terminal in the middle and the older terminal along the north edge of the field; two of its runways would always be within 30° of the wind direction. As the required length for runways has grown, Heathrow now has only two parallel runways running east–west. These are extended versions of the two east–west runways from the original hexagram. From the air, almost all of the original runways can still be seen, incorporated into the present system of taxiways. North of the northern runway and the former taxiway and aprons, now the site of extensive car parks, is the entrance to the access tunnel and the site of Heathrow's unofficial "gate guardian". For many years the home of a 40% scale model of a British Airways
British Airways
Concorde, G-CONC, the site has been occupied by a model of an Emirates Airbus A380
Airbus A380
since 2008.[11] Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport
has Anglican, Catholic, Free Church, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim
and Sikh chaplains. There is a multi-faith prayer room and counselling room in each terminal, in addition to St. George's Interdenominational Chapel in an underground vault adjacent to the old control tower, where Christian services take place. The chaplains organize and lead prayers at certain times in the prayer room.[12] The airport has its own resident press corps, consisting of six photographers and one TV crew, serving all the major newspapers and television stations around the world.[13] Most of Heathrow's internal roads are initial letter coded by area: N in the north (e.g. Newall Road), E in the east (e.g. Elmdon Road), S in the south (e.g. Stratford Road), W in the west (e.g. Walrus Road), C in the centre (e.g. Camborne Road). Flight movements[edit] Aircraft destined for Heathrow are usually routed over one of four main reporting points: Bovingdon (BNN) in Hertfordshire, Lambourne (LAM) in Essex, Biggin Hill (BIG) in Bromley
and Ockham (OCK) in Surrey.[14] Each is defined by a VOR radio-navigational beacon. When the airport is busy, aircraft orbit in the associated hold patterns. These holding areas lie to the northwest, northeast, southeast and southwest of the London
conurbation. Aircraft hold between 7,000 feet and 15,000 feet at 1,000 foot intervals. If these holds become full, aircraft are held at more distant points before being cleared onward to one of the four main holds. Air traffic controllers at Heathrow Approach Control (based in Swanwick, Hampshire) then guide the aircraft to their final approach, merging aircraft from the four holds into a single stream of traffic, sometimes as close as 2.5 nautical miles (4.6 km; 2.9 mi) apart. Considerable use is made of continuous descent approach techniques to minimize the environmental effects of incoming aircraft, particularly at night.[15] Once an aircraft is established on its final approach, control is handed over to Heathrow Tower. When runway alternation was introduced, aircraft generated significantly more noise on departure than when landing, so a preference for westerly operations during daylight was introduced, which continues to this day.[16] In this mode, aircraft depart towards the west and approach from the east over London, thereby minimizing the impact of noise on the most densely populated areas. Heathrow's two runways generally operate in segregated mode, whereby arriving aircraft are allocated to one runway and departing aircraft to the other. To further reduce noise nuisance to people beneath the approach and departure routes, the use of runways 27R and 27L is swapped at 15:00 each day if the wind is from the west. When landings are easterly there is no alternation; 09L remains the landing runway and 09R the departure runway due to the legacy of the now rescinded Cranford Agreement, pending taxiway works to allow the roles to be reversed. Occasionally, landings are allowed on the nominated departure runway, to help reduce airborne delays and to position landing aircraft closer to their terminal, reducing taxi times. Night-time flights at Heathrow are subject to restrictions. Between 23:00 and 04:00, the noisiest aircraft (rated QC/8 and QC/16) cannot be scheduled for operation. In addition, during the night quota period (23:30–06:00) there are four limits:

A limit on the number of flights allowed; A Quota Count system which limits the total amount of noise permitted, but allows operators to choose to operate fewer noisy aircraft or a greater number of quieter planes;[17] QC/4 aircraft cannot be scheduled for operation. A voluntary agreement with the airlines that no early morning arrivals will be scheduled to land before 04:30.

A trial of "noise relief zones" ran from December 2012 to March 2013, which concentrated approach flight paths into defined areas compared with the existing paths which were spread out. The zones used alternated weekly, meaning residents in the "no-fly" areas received respite from aircraft noise for set periods.[18] However, it was concluded that some residents in other areas experienced a significant disbenefit as a result of the trial and that it should therefore not be taken forward in its current form. Heathrow received more than 25,000 noise complaints in just three months over the summer of 2016, but around half were made by the same ten people.[19] Regulation[edit] Further information: Landing slot Until it was required to sell Gatwick and Stansted Airports, Heathrow Airport Holdings held a dominant position in the London
aviation market, and has been heavily regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) as to how much it can charge airlines to land. The annual increase in landing charge per passenger was capped at inflation minus 3% until 1 April 2003. From 2003 to 2007 charges increased by inflation plus 6.5% per year, taking the fee to £9.28 per passenger in 2007. In March 2008, the CAA announced that the charge would be allowed to increase by 23.5% to £12.80 from 1 April 2008 and by inflation plus 7.5% for each of the following four years.[20] In April 2013, the CAA announced a proposal for Heathrow to charge fees calculated by inflation minus 1.3%, continuing until 2019.[21] Whilst the cost of landing at Heathrow is determined by the CAA and Heathrow Airport Holdings, the allocation of landing slots to airlines is carried out by Airport Co-ordination Limited (ACL).[22] Until 2008, air traffic between Heathrow and the United States
United States
was strictly governed by the countries' bilateral Bermuda II treaty. The treaty originally allowed only British Airways, Pan Am and TWA to fly from Heathrow to the US. In 1991, PAA and TWA sold their rights to United Airlines
United Airlines
and American Airlines
American Airlines
respectively, while Virgin Atlantic was added to the list of airlines allowed to operate on these routes. The Bermuda bilateral agreement conflicted with the Right of Establishment of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
in relation to its EU membership, and as a consequence the UK was ordered to drop the agreement in 2004. A new "open skies" agreement was signed by the United States
United States
and the European Union
European Union
on 30 April 2007 and came into effect on 30 March 2008. Shortly afterwards, additional US airlines, including Northwest Airlines, Continental Airlines, US Airways
US Airways
and Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
started services to Heathrow. The airport has been criticized in recent years for overcrowding and delays;[23] according to Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport
Holdings, Heathrow's facilities were originally designed to accommodate 55 million passengers annually. The number of passengers using the airport reached a record 70 million in 2012.[24] In 2007 the airport was voted the world's least favorite, alongside Chicago O'Hare, in a TripAdvisor survey.[25] However, the opening of Terminal 5 in 2008 has relieved some pressure on terminal facilities, increasing the airport's terminal capacity to 90 million passengers per year. A tie-up is also in place with McLaren Applied Technologies to optimize the general procedure, reducing delays and pollution.[26] With only two runways, operating at over 98% of their capacity, Heathrow has little room for more flights, although the increasing use of larger aircraft such as the Airbus A380
Airbus A380
will allow some increase in passenger numbers. It is difficult for existing airlines to obtain landing slots to enable them to increase their services from the airport, or for new airlines to start operations.[27] To increase the number of flights, Heathrow Airport Holdings
Heathrow Airport Holdings
has proposed using the existing two runways in 'mixed mode' whereby aircraft would be allowed to take off and land on the same runway. This would increase the airport's capacity from its current 480,000 movements per year to as many as 550,000 according to British Airways
British Airways
CEO Willie Walsh.[28] Heathrow Airport Holdings
Heathrow Airport Holdings
has also proposed building a third runway to the north of the airport, which would significantly increase traffic capacity (see Future expansion below).[29] Security[edit] Policing of the airport is the responsibility of the aviation security unit of the Metropolitan Police, although the army, including armored vehicles of the Household Cavalry, has occasionally been deployed at the airport during periods of heightened security. Full body scanners are now used at the airport, and passengers who object to their use after being selected are required to submit to a hand search in a private room.[30] The scanners display passengers' bodies as a cartoon-style figure, with indicators showing where concealed items may be.[30] The new imagery was introduced initially as a trial in September 2011 following complaints over privacy.[31] Terminals[edit] The airport has 4 terminals. Terminal 2, the newest terminal formerly served Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
Little Red and now houses Star Alliance
Star Alliance
members along with Aer Lingus, Eurowings, the new Flybe, and Icelandair. Terminal 3 houses Oneworld
members, Virgin Atlantic, Delta Air Lines, Garuda Indonesia, Middle East Airlines, and few other unaffiliated members with the exception of Iberia, Malaysia Airlines
Malaysia Airlines
and Qatar Airways. Beijing Capital Airlines, the newest airline also operates from Terminal 3. Terminal 4 serves SkyTeam, Malaysia Airlines
Malaysia Airlines
and Qatar
Airways, and most unaffiliated members. Terminal 5 houses the International Airlines Group- British Airways
British Airways
and Iberia. Terminal 1 (Closed)[edit] Main article: Heathrow Terminal 1 Terminal 1 opened in 1968 and was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
in April 1969.[32][33] Before Terminal 5 opened, Terminal 1 was the Heathrow base for British Airways' (BA) domestic and European network and for a few of its long haul routes. The acquisition of British Midland International (BMI) in 2012 by BA's owner International Airlines Group meant British Airways
British Airways
took over BMI's short-haul and medium-haul destinations from the terminal.[34] Terminal 1 was also the main base for most Star Alliance
Star Alliance
members,some Star Alliance members were also based at Terminal 3. Terminal 1 closed at the end of June 2015. Its site is being used for an extension to Terminal 2,[35] which opened in June 2014. A number of newer boarding gates used by Terminal 1 had been built as part of the Terminal 2 development and are being retained as part of Terminal 2.[36][37] The last tenants along with British Airways
British Airways
were El Al, Icelandair, the one who moved to Terminal 2 on 25 March 2015, and LATAM Brasil, the third one to move in to Terminal 3 on 27 May, 2015. British Airways
British Airways
was the last operator in Terminal 1. Two flights of this carrier, one departing to Hannover
and one arriving from Baku, marked the terminal closure on 29 June 2015. British Airways operations have been relocated to Terminals 3 and 5.[38] Terminal 2[edit]

Terminal 2 central departures area

Main article: Heathrow Terminal 2 The airport's newest terminal, officially known as the Queen's Terminal, was opened on 4 June 2014.[39][40] Designed by Spanish architect Luis Vidal, it was built on the site that had been occupied by the original Terminal 2 and the Queens Building.[41][42] The main complex was completed in November 2013 and underwent six months of testing before opening to passengers. It includes a satellite pier (T2B), a 1,340-space car park, an energy center[clarification needed] and a cooling station to generate chilled water. There are 52 shops and 17 bars and restaurants.[43] Terminal 2 is used by all Star Alliance
Star Alliance
members which fly from Heathrow (consolidating the airlines under Star Alliance's co-location policy "Move Under One Roof"). Aer Lingus, Eurowings, Flybe
and Icelandair
also operate from the terminal. Tianjin Airlines
Tianjin Airlines
is a possible new member at Terminal 2. The airlines moved from their original locations over a six-month period, with only 10% of flights operating from there in the first six weeks (United Airlines' transatlantic flights) to avoid the opening problems seen at Terminal 5. On 4 June 2014, United Airlines
United Airlines
became the first airline to move into Terminal 2 from Terminals 1 and 4 followed by All Nippon Airways, Air Canada
Air Canada
and Air China
Air China
from Terminal 3. Air New Zealand, Asiana Airlines,Croatia Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, South African Airways, and TAP Portugal
TAP Portugal
were the last airlines to move in on 22 October 2014 from Terminal 1.[44] Development will continue at the terminal to increase capacity in preparation for the closure of Terminal 3 in 2019.[45] The original Terminal 2 opened as the Europa Building in 1955 and was the airport's oldest terminal. It had an area of 49,654 m2 (534,470 sq ft) and was designed to handle around 1.2 million passengers annually. In its final years it accommodated up to 8 million. A total of 316 million passengers passed through the terminal in its lifetime. The building was demolished in 2010, along with the Queens Building which had housed airline company offices.[46] Terminal 3[edit]

Terminal 3 bird's-eye view

Main article: Heathrow Terminal 3 Terminal 3 opened as the Oceanic Terminal on 13 November 1961 to handle flight departures for long-haul routes for foreign carriers to the United States, Asia and other Far Eastern destinations.[47] At this time the airport had a direct helicopter service to Central London
from the gardens on the roof of the terminal building. Renamed Terminal 3 in 1968, it was expanded in 1970 with the addition of an arrivals building. Other facilities added included the UK's first moving walkways. In 2006, the new £105 million Pier 6 was completed[48] to accommodate the Airbus A380
Airbus A380
superjumbo; Emirates and Qantas
operate regular flights from Terminal 3 using the Airbus A380. Redevelopment of Terminal 3's forecourt by the addition of a new four-lane drop-off area and a large pedestrianised plaza, complete with canopy to the front of the terminal building, was completed in 2007. These improvements were intended to improve passengers' experience, reduce traffic congestion and improve security.[49] As part of this project, Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
was assigned its own dedicated check-in area, known as 'Zone A', which features a large sculpture and atrium. As of 2013[update], Terminal 3 has an area of 98,962 m2 (1,065,220 sq ft) and in 2011 it handled 19.8 million passengers on 104,100 flights.[50] Terminal 3 is home to Oneworld members with the exception of Iberia, which uses Terminal 5, Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways
which use Terminal 4, SkyTeam
members Delta Air Lines, Garuda Indonesia, Middle East Airlines, all new airlines and a few unaffiliated carriers.

Terminal 4[edit]

Terminal 4 bird's-eye view

Main article: Heathrow Terminal 4 Opened in 1986, Terminal 4 is situated to the south of the southern runway next to the cargo terminal and is connected to Terminals 2 and 3 by the Heathrow Cargo Tunnel. The terminal has an area of 105,481 m2 (1,135,390 sq ft) and is now home to the SkyTeam
alliance, with the exception of Garuda Indonesia, Delta Air Lines, and Middle East Airlines, which use Terminal 3, Oneworld carriers Malaysia Airlines
Malaysia Airlines
and Qatar
Airways, and to most unaffiliated carriers. It has undergone a £200m upgrade to enable it to accommodate 45 airlines with an upgraded forecourt to reduce traffic congestion and improve security. Most flights that go to Terminal 4 are flights coming from Asia and North Africa, as well as a few flights to Europe. An extended check-in area with renovated piers and departure lounges and a new baggage system were installed, and two new stands were built to accommodate the Airbus A380; Etihad Airways, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines
Malaysia Airlines
and Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways
operate regular A380 flights.[51] Terminal 5[edit]

Terminal 5 bird's-eye view

Main article: Heathrow Terminal 5 Terminal 5 lies between the northern and southern runways at the western end of the Heathrow site and was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 14 March 2008,[52] some 19 years after its inception. It opened to the public on 27 March 2008, and British Airways
British Airways
and its partner company Iberia
have exclusive use of this terminal. The first passenger to enter Terminal 5 was a UK ex-pat from Kenya who passed through security at 04:30 on the day. He was presented with a boarding pass by the British Airways
British Airways
CEO Willie Walsh for the first departing flight, BA302 to Paris. During the two weeks after its opening, operations were disrupted by problems with the terminal's IT systems, coupled with insufficient testing and staff training, which caused over 500 flights to be cancelled.[53] Until March 2012, Terminal 5 was exclusively used by British Airways
British Airways
as its global hub; however, because of the merger, on 25 March Iberia's operations at Heathrow were moved to the terminal, making it the home of International Airlines Group.[54] Built at a cost of £4.3 billion, the terminal consists of a four-story main terminal building (Concourse A) and two satellite buildings linked to the main terminal by an underground people mover transit system. The second satellite (Concourse C), includes dedicated aircraft stands for the Airbus A380. It became fully operational on 1 June 2011. Terminal 5 was voted Skytrax
World's Best Airport Terminal 2014 in the Annual World Airport Awards.[55] The main terminal building (Concourse A) has an area of 300,000 square metres (3,200,000 sq ft) while Concourse B covers 60,000 square metres (650,000 sq ft).[56] It has 60 aircraft stands and capacity for 30 million passengers annually as well as more than 100 shops and restaurants.[57] A further building, designated Concourse D and of similar size to Concourse C, may yet be built to the east of the existing site, providing up to another 16 stands. Following British Airways' merger with Iberia, this may become a priority since the combined business will require accommodation at Heathrow under one roof to maximise the cost savings envisaged under the deal. A proposal for Concourse D featured in Heathrow's most recent capital investment plan. The transport network around the airport has been extended to cope with the increase in passenger numbers. A dedicated motorway spur links the terminal to the M25 (between junctions 14 and 15). The terminal has a 3,800 space multi-story car park. A more distant long-stay car park for business passengers is connected to the terminal by a personal rapid transit system, which became operational in the spring of 2011.[58] New branches of both the Heathrow Express and the Underground's Piccadilly line
Piccadilly line
serve a new shared Heathrow Terminal 5 station. Terminal assignments[edit] As of March 2017, Heathrow's four passenger terminals are assigned as follows:[59]

Terminal Airlines and alliances

Terminal 2 Star Alliance, Aer Lingus, Eurowings, Flybe
and Icelandair

Terminal 3 Oneworld
(except Malaysia
Airlines, Qatar
Airways, Iberia
and most British Airways
British Airways
destinations), Delta Air Lines, Garuda Indonesia, Middle East Airlines, Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
and several non-aligned airlines

Terminal 4 SkyTeam
(except Delta Air Lines, Garuda Indonesia
Garuda Indonesia
and Middle East Airlines), Malaysia
Airlines, Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways
and most non-aligned airlines

Terminal 5 British Airways
British Airways
(most destinations, except those at Terminal 3) and Iberia

Following the opening of Terminal 5 in March 2008, a hugely complex programme of terminal moves was implemented. This saw many airlines move so as to be grouped in terminals by airline alliance as far as possible.[60] Following the opening of Phase 1 of the new Terminal 2 in June 2014, all Star Alliance
Star Alliance
member airlines[61] (with the exception of new member Air India
Air India
which moved in early 2017) along with Aer Lingus
Aer Lingus
and Germanwings relocated to Terminal 2 in a phased process completed on 22 October 2014. Additionally, by 30 June 2015 all airlines left Terminal 1 in preparation for its demolition to make room for the construction of Phrase 2 of Terminal 2.[62] Terminal 3 is also planned to be demolished in 2019 when Phrase 2 of Terminal 2 is complete. Some other airlines made further minor moves at a later point, e.g. Air India
Air India
moving from Terminal 4 to the other Star Alliance
Star Alliance
carriers in Terminal 2[63] or Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
merging all departures in Terminal 3 instead of a split between Terminals 3 and 4.[64] Airlines and destinations[edit] Passenger[edit] The following airlines operate regular scheduled passenger flights at London
Heathrow Airport:[65]

Airlines Destinations

Aegean Airlines Athens

Aer Lingus Belfast–City, Cork, Dublin, Shannon

Aeroflot Moscow–Sheremetyevo

Aeroméxico Mexico City

Air Algérie Algiers

Air Astana Astana

Air Canada Calgary, Halifax, Montréal–Trudeau, Ottawa, St. John's, Toronto–Pearson, Vancouver

Air China Beijing–Capital

Air France Paris–Charles de Gaulle

Air India Ahmedabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Newark

Air Malta Malta

Air Mauritius Mauritius

Air New Zealand Auckland, Los Angeles

Air Serbia Belgrade

Alitalia Milan–Linate, Rome–Fiumicino

All Nippon Airways Tokyo–Haneda

American Airlines Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York–JFK, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham

Asiana Airlines Seoul–Incheon

Austrian Airlines Vienna

Avianca Bogotá

Azerbaijan Airlines Baku

Beijing Capital Airlines Qingdao

Biman Bangladesh Airlines Dhaka[a]

British Airways Aberdeen, Abu Dhabi, Abuja, Accra, Amman–Queen Alia, Amsterdam, Athens, Atlanta, Austin, Bahrain, Baltimore, Bangalore, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Barcelona, Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg, Beijing–Capital, Beirut, Belfast–City, Berlin–Tegel, Bilbao, Billund, Bologna, Boston, Brussels, Bucharest–Otopeni, Budapest, Buenos Aires–Ezeiza, Cairo, Calgary, Cape Town, Chennai, Chicago–O'Hare, Copenhagen, Dallas/Fort Worth, Delhi, Denver, Doha (resumes 30 June 2018),[66] Dubai–International, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Geneva, Gibraltar, Glasgow-International, Gothenburg, Gran Canaria, Grand Cayman, Hamburg, Hanover, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Houston–Intercontinental, Hyderabad, Innsbruck, Inverness, Istanbul–Atatürk, Jeddah, Johannesburg–OR Tambo, Kiev–Boryspil, Kraków, Kuala Lumpur–International, Kuwait City, Lagos, Larnaca, Las Vegas, Leeds/Bradford, Lisbon, Los Angeles, Luanda, Luxembourg, Lyon, Madrid, Mahé,[67] Málaga, Manchester, Marseille, Mexico City, Miami, Milan–Linate, Milan–Malpensa, Montreal–Trudeau, Moscow–Domodedovo, Mumbai, Munich, Muscat, Nairobi–Jomo Kenyatta, Nashville (begins 4 May 2018),[68] Nassau, New Orleans, New York–JFK, Newark, Newcastle upon Tyne, Nice, Oslo–Gardermoen, Palermo, Palma de Mallorca, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Philadelphia, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Pisa, Prague, Reykjavík–Keflavík, Rio de Janeiro–Galeão, Riyadh, Rome–Fiumicino, Saint Petersburg, San Diego, San Francisco, San José (CA), Santiago de Chile, São Paulo–Guarulhos, Seattle/Tacoma, Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong, Singapore, Sofia, Stockholm–Arlanda, Stuttgart, Sydney, Tallinn, Tehran–Imam Khomeini, Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion, Tenerife-South, Tokyo–Haneda, Tokyo–Narita, Toronto–Pearson, Toulouse, Vancouver, Venice, Vienna, Warsaw–Chopin, Washington–Dulles, Zagreb, Zürich Seasonal: Almeria,[69] Brindisi, Chania, Corfu, Faro, Figari (begins 27 May 2018),[70] Ibiza, Grenoble, Kefalonia (begins 15 May 2018),[71] Kalamata, Menorca, Murcia, Mykonos, Nantes, Olbia, Pula, Salzburg, Santorini, Split, Turin, Zakynthos

Brussels Airlines Brussels

Bulgaria Air Sofia

Cathay Pacific Hong Kong

China Eastern Airlines Shanghai–Pudong

China Southern Airlines Guangzhou, Wuhan (begins 30 May 2018)[72]

Cobalt Air Larnaca[73]

Croatia Airlines Zagreb Seasonal: Split

Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK, Philadelphia (ends 3 May 2018)[74] Seasonal: Portland (OR), Salt Lake City

EgyptAir Cairo

El Al Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion

Emirates Dubai–International

Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa

Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi

EVA Air Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Taipei–Taoyuan

Eurowings Berlin-Tegel, Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Salzburg, Stuttgart

Finnair Helsinki

Flybe Aberdeen, Edinburgh

Garuda Indonesia Jakarta–Soekarno–Hatta

Gulf Air Bahrain

Hainan Airlines Changsha[75]

Iberia Madrid

Express Asturias, Gran Canaria, Palma de Mallorca

Icelandair Reykjavík–Keflavík

Iran Air Tehran–Imam Khomeini

Japan Airlines Tokyo–Haneda

Jet Airways Delhi, Mumbai

Kenya Airways Nairobi–Kenyatta

KLM Amsterdam

Korean Air Seoul–Incheon

Kuwait Airways Kuwait City

LATAM Brasil São Paulo–Guarulhos

LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw–Chopin

Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich

Airlines Kuala Lumpur–International

Middle East Airlines Beirut

Oman Air Muscat

Pakistan International Airlines Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore

Philippine Airlines Manila

Qantas Melbourne, Perth,[76] Singapore,[77] Sydney

Airways Doha

Royal Air Maroc Casablanca, Rabat

Royal Brunei Airlines Bandar Seri Begawan, Dubai–International

Royal Jordanian Amman–Queen Alia

Saudia Jeddah, Riyadh Seasonal: Medina

Scandinavian Airlines Copenhagen, Oslo–Gardermoen, Stavanger, Stockholm–Arlanda

Airlines Singapore

South African Airways Johannesburg–OR Tambo

SriLankan Airlines Colombo

Swiss International Air Lines Geneva, Zürich Seasonal: Sion

TAP Air Portugal Lisbon

TAROM Bucharest–Otopeni

Thai Airways Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi

Tianjin Airlines Tianjin, Xi'an (both begin 7 May 2018)[78]

Tunisair Tunis

Turkish Airlines Istanbul–Atatürk

Turkmenistan Airlines Ashgabat

United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Houston–Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, Washington–Dulles Seasonal: Denver

Uzbekistan Airways Tashkent

Vietnam Airlines Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City

Virgin Atlantic Atlanta, Boston, Delhi, Dubai–International, Hong Kong, Johannesburg–OR Tambo, Lagos, Los Angeles, Miami, New York–JFK, Newark, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, Shanghai–Pudong, Washington–Dulles Seasonal: Barbados

Vueling A Coruña, Barcelona


Airlines Destinations

AirBridgeCargo Airlines Frankfurt–Hahn, Moscow–Sheremetyevo

Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific
Cargo Delhi, Hong Kong, Milan–Malpensa, Mumbai, Paris–Charles de Gaulle

DHL Aviation Amsterdam, Brussels, Cincinnati, East Midlands, Frankfurt, Leipzig/Halle, Luton, Madrid–Barajas, Paris–Charles de Gaulle

Emirates SkyCargo Dubai–Al Maktoum

Ethiopian Airlines
Ethiopian Airlines
Cargo Addis Ababa, Lagos

Korean Air
Korean Air
Cargo Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Seoul–Incheon

Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways
Cargo Basel, Doha[79]

Royal Air Maroc
Royal Air Maroc
Cargo Casablanca

Royal Jordanian
Royal Jordanian
Cargo Amman–Queen Alia

Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines
Cargo Sharjah, Singapore

Traffic and statistics[edit] Overview[edit]

Development of passenger numbers, aircraft movements and air freight between 1986 and 2014

When ranked by passenger traffic, Heathrow is the sixth busiest internationally, behind Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Beijing Capital International Airport, Dubai International Airport, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport
O'Hare International Airport
and Tokyo Haneda Airport, for the 12 months ending December 2015.[80] In 2015, Heathrow was the busiest airport in Europe in total passenger traffic, with 14% more passengers than Paris–Charles de Gaulle Airport[81] and 22% more than Istanbul Atatürk Airport.[82] Heathrow was the fourth busiest European airport by cargo traffic in 2013, after Frankfurt Airport, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.[83] Annual traffic statistics[edit]

Traffic statistics at Heathrow[1]


Passengers handled[b]

Passenger % Change

Cargo (tonnes)

Cargo % Change

Aircraft movements

Aircraft % Change

1986 31,675,779 26 ! 537,131 27 ! 315,753

1987 35,079,755 02 !10.7 574,116 09 !6.9 329,977 4.3

1988 37,840,503 04 !7.9 642,147 05 !11.8 351,592 6.1

1989 39,881,922 08 !5.4 686,170 10 !6.9 368,429 4.6

1990 42,950,512 05 !7.7 695,347 17 !1.3 390,372 5.6

1991 40,494,575 24 !5.7 654,625 23 !5.9 381,724 2.3

1992 45,242,591 01 !11.7 754,770 01 !15.3 406,481 6.1

1993 47,899,081 07 !5.9 846,486 04 !12.2 411,173 1.1

1994 51,713,366 03 !8.0 962,738 03 !13.7 424,557 3.2

1995 54,461,597 10 !5.3 1,031,639 08 !7.2 434,525 2.3

1996 56,049,706 15 !2.9 1,040,486 18 !0.9 440,343 1.3

1997 58,185,398 13 !3.8 1,156,104 06 !11.1 440,631 0.1

1998 60,683,988 11 !4.3 1,208,893 13 !4.6 451,382 2.4

1999 62,268,292 16 !2.6 1,265,495 12 !4.7 458,300 1.5

2000 64,618,254 14 !3.8 1,306,905 16 !3.3 466,799 1.8

2001 60,764,924 25 !6.0 1,180,306 26 !9.6 463,567 0.7

2002 63,362,097 12 !4.3 1,234,940 14 !4.6 466,545 0.6

2003 63,495,367 19 !0.2 1,223,439 20 !0.9 463,650 0.6

2004 67,342,743 06 !6.1 1,325,173 07 !8.3 476,001 2.6

2005 67,913,153 17 !0.8 1,305,686 21 !1.5 477,887 0.4

2006 67,527,923 21 !0.6 1,264,129 22 !3.2 477,048 0.2

2007 68,066,028 18 !0.8 1,310,987 15 !3.7 481,476 0.9

2008 67,054,745 22 !1.5 1,397,054 11 !6.6 478,693 0.6

2009 66,036,957 23 !1.5 1,277,650 24 !8.5 466,393 2.6

2010 65,881,660 20 !0.2 1,472,988 02 !15.3 454,823 2.5

2011 69,433,230 09 !5.4 1,484,351 19 !0.8 480,906 5.4

2012 70,037,417 09 !0.9 1,464,390 25 !1.3 475,176 1.2

2013 72,367,054 09 !3.3 1,422,939 24 !2.8 471,936 0.7

2014 73,405,330 20 !1.4 1,498,906 22 !5.3 472,802 0.2

2015 74,985,748 20 !2.2 1,496,551 22 !0.2 474,087 2.7

2016 75,711,130 20 !1.0 1,541,029 23 !3.0 474,963 0.2

2017 78,047,278 20 !3.1

476,186 0.6

Busiest routes[edit] Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport
processed 78,047,278 passengers in 2017.[1] New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport was the most popular route with 2,945,744 passengers.[84] The table below shows the 40 busiest international routes at the airport in 2017.

Busiest international routes to and from Heathrow (2017)[84]

Rank Airport Total passengers Change 2016 / 17

1 New York–JFK 2,945,744 0.5%

2 Dubai–International 2,873,011 9.2%

3 Dublin 1,803,497 7.7%

4 Amsterdam 1,689,924 6.5%

5 Los Angeles 1,600,587 8.9%

6 Hong Kong 1,588,805 3.2%

7 Frankfurt 1,501,134 2.2%

8 Madrid 1,382,478 5.4%

9 Doha 1,287,225 10.8%

10 Singapore 1,234,806 12.6%

11 Paris–Charles de Gaulle 1,207,929 4.2%

12 Munich 1,190,441 2.7%

13 Zürich 1,139,638 3.4%

14 Chicago–O'Hare 1,062,328 1.4%

15 Geneva 1,056,478 3.0%

16 Toronto–Pearson 1,047,947 2.8%

17 New Delhi 1,023,509 2.8%

18 Istanbul–Atatürk 1,021,532 2.8%

19 Newark 1,020,678 5.4%

20 Stockholm–Arlanda 1,013,192 2.7%

21 San Francisco 1,009,584 2.9%

22 Abu Dhabi 1,004,473 13.2%

23 Miami 985,148 2.9%

24 Copenhagen 982,928 4.9%

25 Rome–Fiumicino 976,106 1.7%

26 Mumbai 963,977 6.7%

27 Johannesburg–Tambo 954,716 3.1%

28 Lisbon 865,043 7.4%

29 Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi 850,446 18.9%

30 Washington–Dulles 845,634 1.4%

31 Boston 814,124 2.3%

32 Vienna 807,858 2.0%

33 Berlin–Tegel 779,203 4.2%

34 Athens 761,330 5.3%

35 Düsseldorf 741,486 8.3%

36 Helsinki 714,261 7.2%

37 Kuala Lumpur 692,039 8.6%

38 Barcelona 683,777 3.8%

39 Oslo–Gardermoen 679,409 1.3%

40 Dallas/Fort Worth 677,113 4.7%

Other facilities[edit]

The Compass Centre, the head office of Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport

The head office of Heathrow Airport Holdings
Heathrow Airport Holdings
(formerly BAA Limited) is located in the Compass Centre
Compass Centre
by Heathrow's northern runway, a building that previously served as a British Airways
British Airways
flight crew centre.[85] The World Business Centre Heathrow consists of three buildings. 1 World Business Centre houses offices of Heathrow Airport Holdings, Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport
itself, and Scandinavian Airlines.[86] Previously International Airlines Group
International Airlines Group
had its head office in 2 World Business Centre.[87][88] At one time the British Airways
British Airways
head office was located within Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport
at Speedbird House[89] before the completion of Waterside, the current BA head office in Harmondsworth, in June 1998.[90] To the north of the airfield lies the Northern Perimeter Road, along which most of Heathrow's car rental agencies are based, and Bath Road, which runs parallel to it, but outside the airport campus–this is nicknamed "The Strip" by locals owing to its continuous line of airport hotels. Access[edit] Public transport[edit] Train[edit]

Heathrow Express
Heathrow Express
train at Paddington station

Heathrow Express: a non-stop service direct to London's Paddington station; trains leave every 15 minutes for the 15-minute journey (21 minutes to/from Terminal 5). Trains depart from Heathrow Terminal 5 station or Heathrow Central station (Terminals 2 & 3). A Heathrow Express transfer service operates between Terminal 4 and Heathrow Central to connect with services from London
and Terminal 5. Heathrow Connect: a stopping service to Paddington calling at up to five National Rail
National Rail
stations en route – trains leave every 30 minutes for the 27-minute journey.[91] Heathrow Connect
Heathrow Connect
services terminate at Heathrow Central station. Calls at Hayes and Harlington for connecting trains to Reading. London
Underground ( Piccadilly
line): four stations serve the airport: Terminal 2 and 3, Terminal 4 and Terminal 5 serve the passenger terminals; and Hatton Cross the maintenance areas. The usual journey time from Heathrow Central to Central London
is around 40–50 minutes.[92]

Bus and coach[edit] Many buses and coaches operate from the large Heathrow Central bus station serving Terminals 2 and 3, and also from bus stations at Terminals 4 and 5. Inter-terminal transport[edit] Terminals 2 and 3 are within walking distance of each other. Transfers to Terminal 4 and 5 are by Heathrow Express
Heathrow Express
trains or bus. Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect
Heathrow Connect
train services between Heathrow Central and Terminals 4 and 5 are free of charge.[93] This is also true for London
Underground services when using an Oyster card. When travelling to Terminal 4, one has to change at Hatton Cross, whilst this station not being part of the actual free fare zone. Local buses throughout the airport area are provided free of charge under the "Heathrow FreeFlow" scheme;[94] passengers should tell the driver their destination to ensure they are not charged a fare. Transit passengers remaining airside are provided with free dedicated transfer buses between terminals. ULTra
Personal Rapid Transport opened in April 2011 to shuttle passengers between Terminal 5 and the business car park at a speed of up to 40 km/h (25 mph). There are 21 small transportation pods that can each carry up to four adults, two children, and their luggage. The pods are battery-powered and run on a four-kilometre track. The capsules run on demand. The provider claims a 95% availability rate and no accidents so far.[95] Plans to use the same technology to connect Terminals 2 and 3 to remote car parks were included in the draft 2014–2019 five-year master plan but have since been deferred due to other priorities.[96] Taxi[edit] Taxis are available at all terminals.[97] Car[edit]

Entrance at the southern end of the M4 Motorway
M4 Motorway
spur, showing a scale model of Concorde, replaced since 2008 by the Emirates A380 scale model.[98]

Heathrow is accessible via the nearby M4 motorway
M4 motorway
or A4 road (Terminals 2–3), the M25 motorway
M25 motorway
(Terminals 4 and 5) and the A30 road (Terminal 4). There are drop-off and pick-up areas at all terminals and short-[99] and long-stay[100] multi-storey car parks. All the Heathrow forecourts are drop-off only.[101] There are further car parks, not run by Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport
Holdings, just outside the airport: the most recognisable is the National Car Parks
National Car Parks
facility, although there are many other options; these car parks are connected to the terminals by shuttle buses. Four parallel tunnels under the northern runway connect the M4 Heathrow spur and the A4 road to Terminals 2–3. The two larger tunnels are each two lanes wide and are used for motorised traffic. The two smaller tunnels were originally reserved for pedestrians and bicycles; to increase traffic capacity the cycle lanes have been modified to each take a single lane of cars, although bicycles still have priority over cars. Pedestrian access to the smaller tunnels has been discontinued, with the free bus services being used instead. Bicycle[edit] There are (mainly off-road) bicycle routes to some of the terminals.[102] Free bicycle parking places are available in car parks 1 and 1A, at Terminal 4, and to the North and South of Terminal 5's Interchange Plaza. It is worth noting you are not allowed to cycle through the main tunnel to access Terminals 2 and 3 (Terminal 1 closed in 2015).[103] Incidents and accidents[edit]

On 3 March 1948, Sabena Douglas DC3
Douglas DC3
OO-AWH crashed in fog. Three crew and 19 of the 22 passengers on board died.[104] On 31 October 1950, BEA Vickers Viking G-AHPN crashed at Heathrow after hitting the runway during a go-around. Three crew and 25 passengers died.[105] On 16 January 1955, BEA Vickers Viscount
Vickers Viscount
G-AMOK crashed into barriers whilst taking off in fog from a disused runway strip parallel to the desired runway. There were 2 injuries.[106] On 22 June 1955, BOAC de Havilland Dove G-ALTM crashed just short of the runway during a filming flight, when the pilot shut-down the incorrect engine. There were no casualties.[107] On 1 October 1956, XA897, an Avro Vulcan
Avro Vulcan
strategic bomber of the Royal Air Force, crashed at Heathrow after an approach in bad weather. The Vulcan was the first to be delivered to the RAF, and was returning from a demonstration flight to Australia and New Zealand. The pilot and co-pilot ejected and survived, but the four other occupants were killed.[108] On 7 January 1960, Vickers Viscount
Vickers Viscount
G-AOHU of BEA was damaged beyond economic repair when the nose wheel collapsed on landing. A fire then developed and burnt out the fuselage. There were no casualties among the 59 people on board.[109] On 27 October 1965, BEA Vickers Vanguard
Vickers Vanguard
G-APEE, flying from Edinburgh, crashed on Runway
28R while attempting to land in poor visibility. All 30 passengers and six crew on board died.[110][111] On 8 April 1968, BOAC Flight 712
BOAC Flight 712
Boeing 707
Boeing 707
G-ARWE, departing for Australia via Singapore, suffered an engine fire just after take-off. The engine fell from the wing into a nearby gravel pit in Staines, before the plane managed to perform an emergency landing with the wing on fire. However, the plane was consumed by fire once on the ground. Five people – four passengers and a stewardess – died, while 122 survived. Barbara Harrison, a flight attendant on board who helped with the evacuation, was posthumously awarded the George Cross.[112] On 3 July 1968, the port flap operating rod of G-AMAD, an Airspeed Ambassador operated by BKS Air Transport failed due to fatigue thereby allowing the port flaps to retract. This resulted in a rolling movement to port which could not be controlled during the approach, causing the aircraft to contact the grass and swerve towards the terminal building. It hit two parked British European Airways
British European Airways
Hawker Siddeley Trident aircraft, burst into flames and came to rest against the ground floor of the terminal building. Six of the eight crew died, as did eight horses on board. Trident G-ARPT was written off,[113] and Trident G-ARPI was badly damaged, but subsequently repaired, only to be lost in the Staines crash in 1972. On 22 January 1970, Vickers Viscount
Vickers Viscount
G-AWXI of British Midland was damaged beyond economic repair when an engine caught fire on take-off. A successful emergency landing was made at Heathrow.[114] On 18 June 1972, Trident G-ARPI, operating as BEA548, crashed in a field close to the Crooked Billet Public House, Staines, two minutes after taking off. All 118 passengers and crew on board died.[115]

British Airways
British Airways
Flight 38 which crash landed just short of the runway on 17 January 2008

On 8 December 1996, a KLM
Cityhopper Fokker 50, PH-KVK, operating as KLM483 from Rotterdam, suffered a main gear collapse after landing on runway 09R. The aircraft's touchdown was normal, right mainwheel first. About 5 seconds after all the landing gear were in ground contact the left main landing gear collapsed and the aircraft left wing tip, left propeller and the rear left portion of the fuselage contacted the runway. The aircraft veered to the left coming to rest on the hard surface clear of the runway in Block 81.[116][117] On 5 November 1997, a Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic
Airbus A340-300, G-VSKY, made an emergency landing following an undercarriage malfunction. Part of the undercarriage collapsed on landing, and both aircraft and runway were damaged. Recommendations made as a result of the accident included one that aircraft cabin door simulators should more accurately reproduce operating characteristics in an emergency, and another that cockpit voice recorders should have a two-hour duration in aircraft registered before April 1998.[118] On 17 January 2008, a British Airways
British Airways
Boeing 777-236ER, G-YMMM, operating flight BA038 from Beijing, crash-landed at Heathrow. The aircraft landed on grass short of the south runway, then slid to the edge of the runway and stopped on the threshold, leading to eighteen minor injuries. The aircraft was later found to have suffered loss of thrust caused by fuel icing.[119]

Terrorism and security incidents[edit]

On 8 June 1968, James Earl Ray, the man convicted of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., was captured and arrested at Heathrow Airport while attempting to leave the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
on a false Canadian passport.[120] On 6 September 1970, El Al
El Al
Flight 219 experienced an attempted hijack by two PFLP members. One hijacker was killed and the other was subdued as the plane made an emergency landing at Heathrow Airport. On 19 May 1974, the IRA planted a series of bombs in the Terminal 1 car park. Two people were injured by the explosions.[121] On 26 November 1983, the Brink's-Mat robbery occurred, in which 6,800 gold bars worth nearly £26 million were taken from a vault near Heathrow. Only a small amount of the gold was recovered, and only two men were convicted of the crime.[122] On 17 April 1986, semtex explosives were found in the bag of a pregnant Irishwoman attempting to board an El Al
El Al
flight. The explosives had been given to her by her Jordanian boyfriend and father of her unborn child Nizar Hindawi. The incident became known as the Hindawi Affair.[123] On 21 December 1988, Pan Am Flight 103
Pan Am Flight 103
from Heathrow to New York/JFK was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 on board and 11 other people on the ground. This also still remains the deadliest attack on a US aircraft.[124] In 1994, over a six-day period, Heathrow was targeted three times (8, 10, and 13 March) by the IRA, which fired 12 mortars. Heathrow was a symbolic target due to its importance to the UK economy, and much disruption was caused when areas of the airport were closed over the period. The gravity of the incident was heightened by the fact that the Queen was being flown back to Heathrow by the RAF on 10 March.[125] In March 2002, thieves stole US$3 million that had arrived on a South African Airways flight.[126] In February 2003, the British Army
British Army
was deployed to Heathrow along with 1,000 police officers in response to intelligence reports suggesting that al-Qaeda terrorists might launch surface-to-air missile attacks at British or American airliners.[127] On 17 May 2004, Scotland Yard's Flying Squad foiled an attempt by seven men to steal £40 million in gold bullion and a similar quantity of cash from the Swissport
warehouse at Heathrow.[128] On 10 August 2006, the airport became the focus of changes in security protocol, following the revelation of a supposed al-Qaeda terrorist plot. New security rules were put in force immediately, causing additional restrictions in regards to carrying liquids onto flights. This caused longer queues and wait times at security. These included the prohibition of carry-on luggage (except essential items such as travel documents and medication) and all liquids – although this rule was later relaxed to allow the carrying on board of liquid medications and baby milk, if they were tasted first by passengers at the security checkpoint.[129] On 25 February 2008, Greenpeace
activists protesting against the planned third runway managed to cross the tarmac and climb atop a British Airways
British Airways
Airbus A320, which had just arrived from Manchester Airport. At about 09:45 GMT the protesters unveiled a banner, saying "Climate Emergency – No Third Runway", over the aircraft's tailfin. By 11:00 GMT four arrests had been made.[130] On 13 March 2008, a man with a rucksack scaled the perimeter fence onto runway 27R, and ran across the grounds, resulting in his subsequent arrest. A controlled explosion of his bag took place, although nothing suspicious was found, and the Metropolitan Police later said that the incident had not been terrorism related.[131] On 13 July 2015, thirteen activists belonging to the climate change protest group Plane Stupid
Plane Stupid
managed to break through the perimeter fence and get onto the northern runway. They chained themselves together in protest, disrupting hundreds of flights. All were eventually arrested.[132][133]

Other incidents[edit]

Flights from Heathrow were suspended from midday Thursday 15 April 2010 to 22:00 Tuesday 20 April 2010 due to risk of jet engines being damaged by volcanic ash in the upper atmosphere caused by the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland.[134] On 18 December 2010, 'heavy' (9 cm, according to the Heathrow Winter Resilience Enquiry)[135] snowfall caused the closure of the entire airport, causing one of the largest incidents at Heathrow of all time. 4,000 flights were cancelled over five days and 9,500 passengers spent the night at Heathrow on 18 December following the initial snowfall.[136] The problems were caused not only by snow on the runways, but also by snow and ice on the 198 parking stands which were all occupied by aircraft.[137] On 12 July 2013, the ELT on an Ethiopian Airlines
Ethiopian Airlines
Boeing 787 Dreamliner parked at Heathrow airport caught fire due to a short circuit.[138] There were no passengers aboard and no injuries.[139][140] On 14 February 2018, 2 airside vehicles, a BA engineering vehicle and a Heathrow airside operation vehicle crashed on a taxiway near Terminal 5 around 6am. The driver of the BA vehicle died from cardiac arrest and the other driver sustained a broken shoulder. The airport remained opened however 20+ planes were delayed. This incident was referred to the health and safety executive and no arrests have been made by the Met Police .[1]

Future expansion and plans[edit] Runway
and terminal expansion[edit] Main article: Expansion of Heathrow Airport

British Airways
British Airways
aircraft queuing for take-off

In January 2009, the Transport Secretary at the time, Geoff Hoon announced that the British government supported the expansion of Heathrow by building a third 2,200-metre (7,200 ft) runway and a sixth terminal building.[141] This decision followed the 2003 white paper on the future of air transport in the UK,[142] and a public consultation in November 2007.[143] This was a controversial decision which met with widespread opposition because of the expected greenhouse gas emissions, impact on local communities, as well as noise and air pollution concerns.[144] Prior to the 2010 general election, the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties announced that they would prevent the construction of any third runway or further material expansion of the airport's operating capacity. The Mayor of London, then Boris Johnson, took the position that London
needs more airport capacity, favouring the construction of an entirely new airport in the Thames Estuary
Thames Estuary
rather than expanding Heathrow.[145] After the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition took power, it was announced that the third runway expansion was cancelled.[146] Two years later, leading Conservatives were reported to have changed their minds on the subject.[147] Another proposal for expanding Heathrow's capacity was the Heathrow Hub, which aims to extend both runways to a total length of about 7,000 metres and divide them into four so that they each provide two, full length runways, allowing simultaneous take-offs and landings while decreasing noise levels.[148][149] In July 2013, the airport submitted three new proposals for expansion to the Airports Commission, which was established to review airport capacity in the southeast of England. The Airports Commission
Airports Commission
was chaired by Sir Howard Davies who, at the time of his appointment was in the employ of GIC Private Limited (formerly known as Government Investment Corporation of Singapore) and a member of its International Advisory Board. GIC Private Limited was then (2012), as it remains today, one of Heathrow's principal owners. Sir Howard Davies resigned these positions upon confirmation of his appointment to lead the Airports Commission, although it has been observed that he failed to identify these interests when invited to complete the Airports Commission's register of interests. Each of the three proposals that were to be considered by Sir Howard Davies's commission involved the construction of a third runway, either to the north, northwest or southwest of the airport.[150] The commission released its interim report in December 2013, shortlisting three options: the north-west third runway option at Heathrow, extending an existing runway at Heathrow, and a second runway at Gatwick Airport. After this report was published, the government confirmed that no options had been ruled out for airport expansion in the South-east and that a new runway would not be built at Heathrow before 2015.[151] The full report was published on 1 July 2015, and backed a third, north-west, runway at Heathrow.[152] Reaction to the report was generally negative, particularly from London
Mayor Boris Johnson. One senior Conservative told Channel 4: "Howard Davies has dumped an utter steaming pile of poo on the Prime Minister's desk."[153] On 25 October 2016, the government confirmed that Heathrow would be allowed to build a third runway; however a final decision would not be taken until winter of 2017/18, after consultations and government votes. The earliest opening year would be 2025. Heathrow railway hub[edit] A plan to make Heathrow an international railway exchange has also been proposed with the potential construction of Heathrow Hub
Heathrow Hub
railway station,[154] built on a link to the High Speed 2
High Speed 2
(HS2) railway line.[155] This plan was confirmed to be outside the plans for both Phase 1 & Phase 2 of the plans for HS2
in March 2015.[156] Airtrack[edit] In July 2009, Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport
Limited submitted an application to the Secretary of State for Transport seeking to gain authorisation to develop a new rail link to Heathrow Terminal 5
Heathrow Terminal 5
to be known as Heathrow Airtrack.[157] The rail link would address the current lack of public transport available to the South West of the Airport by connecting to Guildford, Reading and London
Waterloo. BAA stated that the scheme should add significantly to its aim of increasing the proportion of people using public transport to travel to the airport.[158] In April 2011, BAA announced that it was abandoning the project,[159] citing the unavailability of government subsidy and other priorities for Heathrow,[160] such as linking to Crossrail
and HS2. Heathrow/Gatwick rail link[edit] Main article: Heathwick In late 2011, the Department for Transport
Department for Transport
began studying the feasibility of a high-speed rail link between Gatwick and Heathrow Airport. This rail link would form part of a plan to combine the UK's two biggest airports into a "collective" or "virtual hub" dubbed Heathwick. The scheme envisages a 35-mile (56 km) high-speed rail route linking the two airports in fifteen minutes, with trains travelling at a top speed of 180 miles per hour (290 km/h) parallel to the M25 and passengers passing through immigration or check-in only once.[161] Heathrow City[edit] The Mayor of London's office and Transport for London
commissioned plans in the event of Heathrow's closure—to replace it by a large built-up area.[162][163][164][165] Some of the plans seem to show terminal 5, or part of it, kept as a shopping centre. See also[edit]

Airports of London Heathrow Worldwide Distribution Centre Hello Goodbye (TV series) List of airports in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and the British Crown Dependencies


^ Biman Bangladesh Airlines' flight from London
to Dhaka makes a stop at Sylhet, and the airline offers tickets solely between London
and Sylhet. However, the flight from Dhaka to London
is direct. ^ Number of passengers including domestic, international and transit

References[edit] Citations[edit]

^ a b c d "Aircraft and passenger traffic data from UK airports". UK Civil Aviation Authority. 11 February 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2018.  ^ "Nats Ais - Home". Nats-uk.ead-it.com. Retrieved 24 September 2017.  ^ a b " London
Heathrow – EGLL". NATS Aeronautical Information Service. Retrieved 21 April 2011.  ^ "Company information". Retrieved 4 March 2016.  ^ Calder, Simon (1 July 2015). " Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport
expansion: Commission report backs third runway". The Independent. London. Retrieved 23 March 2018.  ^ Andrew Simms (1 July 2015). "Forget Heathrow expansion, Davies report should tackle frequent flyers". the Guardian. Retrieved 23 March 2018.  ^ "Third runway at Heathrow cleared for takeoff by ministers". BBC News. 25 October 2016. Retrieved 23 March 2018.  ^ "Myrtle Avenue, Hounslow". Google Maps. Retrieved 26 March 2013.  ^ "Facts and figures". Heathrow Airport. Retrieved 12 February 2015.  ^ "International Air Passenger Traffic To and From Reporting Airports for 2013" (PDF). Civil Aviation Authority. p. 68. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 July 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2015.  ^ "Heathrow Concorde
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Cotton, Jonathan; Mills, John & Clegg, Gillian. (1986) Archaeology in West Middlesex. Uxbridge: London
Borough of Hillingdon ISBN 0-907869-07-6 Gallop, Alan. (2005) Time Flies: Heathrow At 60. Stroud: Sutton Publishing ISBN 0-7509-3840-4 Halpenny, Bruce B. (1992) Action Stations Vol.8: Military Airfields of Greater London. ISBN 1-85260-431-X Sherwood, Philip. (1990) The History of Heathrow. Uxbridge: London Borough of Hillingdon ISBN 0-907869-27-0 Sherwood, Philip (editor). (1993) The Villages of Harmondsworth. West Middlesex Family History Society, ISBN 0 9511476 2 5 Sherwood, Philip. (1999) Heathrow: 2000 Years of History. Stroud: Sutton Publishing ISBN 0-7509-2132-3 Sherwood, Philip. (2006) Around Heathrow Past & Present. Sutton Publishing ISBN 0-7509-4135-9

(Contains many pairs of photographs, old (or in one case a painting), and new, each pair made from the same viewpoint.)

Sherwood, Philip. (2009) Heathrow: 2000 Years of History. Stroud: The History Press ISBN 978-0750921329 Sherwood, Philip. (2012) Around Heathrow Through Time. Amberley Publishing, ISBN 978-1-4456-0846-4 Sherwood, Tim. (1999) Coming in to Land: A Short History of Hounslow, Hanworth and Heston Aerodromes 1911–1946. Heritage Publications ( Hounslow
Library) ISBN 1-899144-30-7 Smith, Graham. (2003) Taking to the Skies: the Story of British Aviation 1903–1939. Countryside ISBN 1-85306-815-2 Smith, Ron. (2002) British Built Aircraft Vol.1. Greater London: Tempus ISBN 0-7524-2770-9 Sturtivant, Ray. (1995) Fairey Aircraft: in Old Photographs. Alan Sutton ISBN 0-7509-1135-2 Taylor, H.A. (1974) Fairey Aircraft since 1915. Putnam ISBN 0-370-00065-X. Taylor, John WR. (1997) Fairey Aviation: Archive Photographs. Chalford ISBN 0-7524-0684-1

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