London Heathrow Airport (IATA: LHR, ICAO: EGLL) is a major international airport in West London, England, United Kingdom. Heathrow is the busiest airport in the United Kingdom and the busiest airport in Europe by passenger traffic. Heathrow is also thethird busiest airport in the world by total passenger traffic. In 2014, it handled a record 73.4 million passengers, a 1.4 percent increase from 2013.
Heathrow lies 12 nautical miles (22 km; 14 mi) west of Central London, and has two parallel east–west runways along with fiveterminals on a site that covers 12.14 square kilometres (4.69 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 the Spanish Ferrovial Group that includesCaisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Government of Singapore Investment Corporation. Heathrow is the primary hub forBritish Airways and the primary operating base for Virgin Atlantic.
In September 2012, the British Government established the Airports Commission, an independent commission chaired by Sir Howard Davies to look at 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, recommending which of the three options should go ahead, is due in mid-2015.….
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, Longfordand 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 Colnbrook in Berkshire by the M25 motorway. Heathrow falls entirely under the Hounslow post town of 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.
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.