Find out answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Heathrow Airport including how many runways it has, what is the expansion project and who owns the airport.

Where can I find information on Heathrow flights and passenger services?

For all flight and passenger services information please visit Heathrow.com. Alternatively, you can contact the team @HeathrowAirport on Twitter for assistance.

How many runways does Heathrow Airport have?

Heathrow has two-runways which run parallel to each other along an east-west axis. Each runway is officially referred to by two names:

  • Northern: 27R and 09L
  • Southern: 27L and 09R

The number element (e.g. 27 or 09) refers to the direction of operations at the time, denoting the degrees around the Compass from North (clockwise), for example 27 refers to 270 degrees from North (e.g. west) – meaning aircraft at Heathrow are landing and taking off from east-to-west. The letter refers to which runway is on the “Left” or “Right” given the direction of operations.

Heathrow once had as many as 6 runways, which were orientated in a “Star of David” pattern, however, they were all much shorter than today’s runways and they were never all used at once. In fact, the number of runways was largely due to the less advanced aircraft used in the past and how they were affected by changes in wind direction.

How many planes land at Heathrow each day? How many planes take off? How many flights in total?

In 2018, there were 475,000 flights in total at Heathrow. This is the equivalent of a combined 1300 take-offs and departures each day. Generally, the split between arrivals and departures is close to even due to the limitations on space at the airport for aircraft.

What is Heathrow expansion? Where can I find out more information?

Heathrow expansion is a privately funded project to create a third runway at the airport, to the north-west of the existing northern runway, and the necessary accompanying airport infrastructure. Find out more via our dedicated expansion website – HeathrowExpansion.com.

Who owns Heathrow Airport?

Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited (formerly BAA) owns and runs London Heathrow Airport, Britain’s aviation hub.

Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited is in turn owned by FGP Topco Limited, a consortium owned and led by the infrastructure specialist Ferrovial S.A. (25.00%), Qatar Investment Authority (20.00%), Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) (12.62%), GIC (11.20%), Alinda Capital Partners of the United States (11.18%), China Investment Corporation (10.00%) and Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) (10.00%).

The company is subject to financial regulation by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). In matters of safety and security we are regulated by the Government and CAA. Find out more via our Investor Centre.

Where can I go to find out information on getting involved with Heathrow procurement processes?

Heathrow Airport Ltd uses an eSourcing portal for tendering and publishing the Procurement Opportunity Pipeline. The opportunity list contains details of future tender opportunities, their estimated value, purchasing category, Category Manager details and contract renewal dates which we hope will be of assistance to you. Find our more via Heathrow.com/Procurement.

What is a hub airport?

There are two types of airports, hubs and point-to-point models. Heathrow is a hub, so we thought we’d explore further what that means and why it’s important for the UK.

Hubs work by pooling regional demand from leisure passengers, international transfer passengers, business passengers and freight to make more routes and regular flights viable. Two hubs don’t work as they split this demand, making fewer routes and flights viable for all.

Where can I find information on jobs available at Heathrow?

In the People section of this website you’ll find more information on the types of roles available at Heathrow, profiles of people that work here and more.

Jobs at the airport are advertised through a variety of channels including:

Does Heathrow offer tours of the airport for aviation enthusiasts? 

Unfortunately we are unable to off tours of the airport for aviation enthusiasts. However, we have in the past ran competitions allowing a special select few to have this opportunity. We are investigating future opportunities to run competitions of this nature.

Who can I contact regarding media enquiries? 

For media enquiries please visit our media centre at http://mediacentre.heathrow.com/.

How old is Heathrow Airport? When was Heathrow Airport opened?

Heathrow is 72 years old with the first flight taking off on 1 May 1946. It was initially opened under the name of London Airport.