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Facts and Figures

Heathrow today

  • 2 runways (Northern – 3,902m x 50m; Southern – 3,658m x 50m)
  • 76 million passengers a year (2016)
  • 194 destinations served – over 80 are long haul
  • 84 countries connected to Heathrow
  • 473,000 flight movements a year (2016) – 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
  • 30% (by value) of the UK’s exports beyond the EU and Switzerland travel through Heathrow each year

Heathrow expansion:

  • 370,000 tonnes of steel are estimated to be required for Heathrow expansion – the equivalent of 16 Wembley Stadiums
  • 3,500m is the proposed length of the 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.