London Heathrow Airport is the fourth busiest airport in the world for total passenger traffic and more international passengers use the airport than any other in the world.
The airport is located 14 miles or 22 kilometres west of Central London and is the largest of seven airports that serve London. Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, City, Southend, and Biggin Hill are the other London airports.
It has two east-west runways which run parallel to each other. Because of this the airplanes approach the airport over Central London allowing fantastic views of the famous sites of London before being guided down onto the runways.
A brief history
Before 1930, Heathrow was the name of an isolated row of cottages on the edge of Hounslow Heath. In 1930, the Great West aerodrome was built and established on the site for aircraft assembly and testing of aircraft manufactured by the Fairey Aviation Company.
In 1944, the surrounding fields, roads and houses were requisitioned by the air ministry to accommodate military bomber planes and then in 1946 the airport was built and fully opened for use by civilians.
Today, London Heathrow Airport is used by over 100 airlines and 67 million passengers walk through its terminals each year. The airlines fly to 170 destinations worldwide, with the 11 % being to UK destinations, 43% to short-haul international destinations and 46% to long-haul international destinations.
Flights to New York from London Heathrow Airport are the most popular of all flights from the airport with about 4 million passengers travelling to JFK International or Newark Liberty International Airport each year.
About London Heathrow's terminals
There are 5 terminals at London Heathrow Airport that serve the passengers that travel through the airport.
Terminal One was opened in 1968 and is undergoing a substantial redesign and development. However in 2014, the terminal will be demolished in preparation for the new Terminal 2.
Terminal 2 is now under reconstruction and will open in 2014 and will be the home of the Star Alliance air carriers.
Terminal 3 was opened in 1961 and known as ‘The Oceanic terminal’ and operates to this day with Qantas, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates and Singapore Airlines all using the terminal.
Terminal 4 was opened in 1986 and is the home to the SkyTeam alliance.
Terminal 5 was built in 2008 and cost £4.3 billion to build the four storey main terminal building and two satellite buildings. Ittook 19 years to complete and is the home of British Airways.
Ways to get to London Heathrow
There are many options to get to London Heathrow Airport, such as the non-stop train service, Heathrow Express, which takes 15 minutes from Central London. Heathrow Connect train services also serve the airport but this is a stopping service from London Paddington.
The London Underground Piccadilly Line takes about an hour from Central London and has stations at every terminal in the airport.
There are many bus and coach services to make sure you reach the airport as Heathrow is very accessible by road and will make sure you have plenty of options available to you to reach the vast airport.