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19 amazing facts and stats about Heathrow Airport that’ll blow your mind

19 amazing facts and stats about Heathrow Airport that’ll blow your mind

A plane at Heathrow Airport

Sponsored: It’s hard to believe that the airplane was only invented 114 years ago. (In December 1903, by American brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright, in case you’re wondering!).

Some 43 years later in 1946, Heathrow Airport – then known as London Airport – opened its doors for the first time. Fast forward 71 years, and it’s officially the world’s busiest international airport.

Here, we break those numbers down – while serving a few more fun and mind-bending facts about the UK’s most beloved transport hub…

© LHR Airports Limited see

There are an average of 1,293 flights per day at Heathrow Airport

As such, an aircraft takes off or lands every 45 seconds.

2 In 2016, there were 75.7 million passengers

This was the busiest year on record!

© LHR Airports Limited see

3 The busiest day in 2016 was 31 July, with 257,922 passengers

The daily average was 206,800.

4 Terminal 5 was busiest last year, with 31.9 million passengers

They boarded 216,861 flights between them.

© LHR Airports Limited see

5 Some 81 airlines operate at Heathrow Airport

And 80 fly long haul.

6 Over 76,500 people keep Heathrow running every day

And they work across 400 organizations! Meanwhile, Heathrow’s Passenger Ambassadors speak 48 languages between them.

© LHR Airports Limited see

The iconic Slipstream sculpture weighs 77 tonnes and measures 70 meters

Created by Richard Wilson, it was fabricated in Hull and transported by road in 23 sections.

Heathrow serves 194 destinations 

And they’re split across 82 countries.


9 The three most popular destinations are New York (JFK), Dubai and Dublin

They’re followed by Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

10 Every day, 26,000 cups of tea are sipped at Heathrow

That’s 9.4 million cups a year!


11 Plus over 6.4 million croissants are served every year

Plus 4.5 million rashers of bacon…

12 In 2015, Heathrow handled imports and exports valued at over £130billion

That’s $100b or €110b.


13 The Heathrow Cargo Centre has transported lions, rhinos, racehorses and sharks

Not to mention parts for NASA’s International Space Station and China’s Terracotta Warriors!

14 Five bottles of perfume a minute are sold in Heathrow’s duty free shops

Furthermore, one bottle of Chanel No. 5 is sold every five minutes!

© LHR Airports Limited see

15 The northern runway is about two-fifths the height of Mount Everest

It measures 3,902 meters.

16 The Terminal 5 site is bigger than Hyde Park 

It comes in at 260 hectares, or 353,020 square meters.

© LHR Airports Limited see

17 Terminal 2 is the smallest, coming in at 40,000 square meters

Then Terminal 3 is 98,962 square meters and Terminal 4 is the second biggest: 105,481 square meters

18 Those 1,293 flights movements take place on just two runways

Northern is 3,902m x 50m, and Southern is 3,658m x 50m.

© LHR Airports Limited see

19 Heathrow Airport is 71, making it the same age as Cher!

And also Bette Midler, Liza Minnelli, Joanna Lumley and Dolly Parton!

For more information about Heathrow Airport, visit the official website by clicking here.

With over 35 bars, restaurants and cafes, including the new Gordon Ramsay Plane Food outlet due to arrive in Terminal 5 this summer, and dozens of designers stores, Heathrow is the perfect place to start your holiday or business trip. To book your trip, visit

Heathrow Airport is a partner of Gay Star News.