Why Heathrow?
Why Heathrow?

Facts and figures

Heathrow is the world’s busiest 2 runway airport as well as being the UK’s hub! We’ve compiled some of the facts and figures behind Heathrow today and its expansion plans.

2015 Heathrow facts and figures

Click on the image above to see an enlarged version.

Heathrow today:

  • runways  (Northern – 3,902m x 50m; Southern – 3,658m x 50m)
  • 75 million passengers a year (2015)
  • 180 destinations served – over 80 are long haul
  • 84 countries connected to Heathrow
  • 474,000 flight movements a year (2015) – an average of 1,300 a day
  • 98% capacity – Flight movements at Heathrow are capped at 480,000/year
  • 1.5 million metric tonnes of cargo travel through the airport each year
  • 2016 Skytrax Best Airport in Western Europe, World’s Best Terminal, and Best Airport Shopping winner
  • Heathrow Terminal 5 has won Skytrax’s World’s Best Terminal Award 5 times
  • 70 years old – Heathrow opened in 1946 and was originally known as London Airport
  • 29% of the UK’s exports (by value) travel through Heathrow each year – more than Southampton and Felixstowe shipping ports combined

Heathrow expansion:

  • 370,000 tonnes of steel are required for Heathrow expansion – the equivalent of 16 Wembley Stadiums
  • 3,500m is the length of the proposed new runway – that’s the equivalent of 312 Routemaster buses
  • The new Heathrow runway will be the first new runway to be built in the south east of England since World War II – the last being at Heathrow
  • 5 railway lines are expected to connect to the airport by 2032 as well as an easy connection to HS2 at Old Oak Common
  • 130 million passengers per year capacity
  • 740,000 flight movements capacity
  • 200,000 fewer people are expected to be affected by significant aircraft noise with expansion, compared to today
  • 52 expansion options were looked at during the 2.5 year, £20m, Airports Commission process before it recommended a new Heathrow north-west runway
Sources: Heathrow’s North-West Runway: Air and Ground Noise Assessment (AMEC, 2014); Heathrow analysis of Seabury Trade Database, excluding gold, diamonds and pearls (2015); Assuming Western Rail and Southern Rail Access – see Heathrow: Taking Britain Further, Volume 1 (Heathrow, 2015) in our downloads section for more information.

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