Heathrow Airport, also known as London Heathrow (IATA: LHR, ICAO: EGLL), is a major international airport in London, United Kingdom. Heathrow is the second busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic, as well as the busiest airport in Europe by passenger traffic, and the seventh busiest airport in the world by total passenger traffic. It is one of six international airports serving Greater London. In 2018, it handled a record 80.1 million passengers, a 2.7% increase from 2017 as well as 477,604 aircraft movements, an increase of 1,821 from 2017. The airport facility is owned and operated by Heathrow Airport Holdings.
Heathrow lies 14 miles (23 km) west of Central London, and has two parallel east–west runways along with four operational terminals on a site that covers 12.27 square kilometres (4.74 sq mi). The airport is the primary hub for British Airways and the primary operating base for Virgin Atlantic.
In September 2012, the Government of the United Kingdom established the Airports Commission, an independent commission chaired by Sir Howard Davies to examine various options for increasing capacity at UK airports. In July 2015, the commission backed a third runway at Heathrow, which the government approved in October 2016.
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 villages of Harlington, Harmondsworth, and Longford to the north and by Hounslow, Cranford and Hatton to the east. To the south lie Feltham, Bedfont and Stanwell while to the west Heathrow is separated from Wraysbury, Horton and Windsor in Berkshire by the M25 motorway. Heathrow falls entirely under the Twickenham postcode area, with the postcode TW6. The airport is located within the Hayes and Harlington parliamentary constituency.
As the airport is located 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, which is most of the time.
Along with Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, Southend and London City, Heathrow is one of six airports with scheduled services serving the London area.