About London Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport (IATA: LHR, ICAO: EGLL) is a major international airport in London, England. Heathrow is the third busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic (surpassed by Dubai International in 2014 and Hong Kong International in 2016), as well as the busiest airport in Europe by passenger traffic, and the sixth busiest airport in the world by total passenger traffic. In 2016, it handled a record 75.7 million passengers, a 1.0% increase from 2015.
Heathrow lies 14 miles (23 km) west of Central London 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 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, Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, Alinda Capital Partners, China Investment Corporation and Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS). London Heathrow is the primary hub for 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. The commission shortlisted two options for expanding Heathrow in its interim report in 2013, along with a third option for expanding Gatwick Airport. The final report, published on 1 July 2015, backed a third runway at Heathrow. The government approved a third runway on 25 October 2016.
Heathrow is 14 mi (23 km) west of central London, 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 built-up areas 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 TW postcode area.
As the airport is 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.
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