Heathrow Point West,
234 Bath Road,
Location: Heathrow airport is located 13.3 miles (21.4 km)
west of central
Situated in the London borough of Hillingdon.
Latitude : 0.4614° W
Longitude : 51.4775° N
The International airport codes for Heathrow are:
IATA code is: LHR
ICAO code is: EGLL
Heathrow is the only major international London Airport that can
legitimately claim to be within London. While the London City Airport is
truly within London proper it's a small airport mostly handling domestic
and short haul flights. Heathrow Airport, alone among the 4 major
airports serving London (Gatwick, Stansted, Luton), is just within the
M25 motorway which now defines the Greater London borders. The airport
is to the West of London and served by the M4 Motorway, A4 and A30 dual
carriageways. The A4 (Bath Road) runs parallel with the northern border
of the airport and is where the majority of the larger branded chain
located, with a few having views of the northern runway (several of the
rear rooms have such a view.
The airport has 5 terminals. Terminals 1, 2 and 3 are in the central
part of the airport while Terminal 4 is to the south east away (close the cargo area of the airport)
and terminal 5 being to the west of the airport grounds. Also the south
side is the Animal Quarantine Centre. The access to the main central
areas since the mid 1950's has been via a tunnel under the airport grounds,
just under 1/2 a mile long and 40 feet below ground level. This actually
is below runway 09L/27R. On the approach to the
entrance is a scale model of Concorde which has now become a feature of
the airport. This entrance is the prime advertising billboard location
for Heathrow's advertisers. Billboards are either side of the entrance
as well as on the central Island on its approach.
Originally the entrance to the tunnel was a roundabout
allowing for traffic to change direction without entering the airport.
However to aid traffic flow this was removed. During an upgrade to the
dual carriageway serving the tunnel a dedicated bus and London taxi lane
was incorporated. This makes a huge difference to bus and London taxi
journey times entering the airport areas during peak hours, notably
early weekday mornings.
Heathrow Airport in terms of international and intercontinental flights
is the busiest airport not just in the UK but in the world. The airport
hosts aircraft that fly to over 186 different airports in 90 countries
across the globe and serving nearly 70 million passengers annually. The
airport never closes and is open 24/7 365 days a year.
The airport takes its name from the village called 'Heath Row
that originally stood where terminal 3 is today and was demolished to
make way for the construction of the airport proper in 1945. Though how
the village came to be named that way nobody knows for sure. The area
has a long history and a strange connection with it past. Before work
commenced on terminal 5 archaeological research was conducted. Evidence
was uncovered to show that 5,000 years ago the site was actually used as
a 'spiritual runway' by druid high priests, either as a means of travel
or as a means of communication with the spirit world. This relates to a
2.5 mile long 23 ft wide section strip of land by Terminal 5.
The control of noise at Heathrow Is a huge matter of concern for local
residents who have battled for many years on the issue. Indeed the first
compliant was received by the Ministry for Civilian Aviation in November
1946. Responsibility for noise is now handled by the Department for Transport
(DfT). To comply with the regulation of noise from night flights there
are no scheduled flight departures between 23:30 and 06:30.
Heathrow Airport has 2 runways, the Northern Runway and the Southern
Runway. This allows each one to be dedicated to either landings or
take-off's. They are alternated in use to lessen the noise impact on
A third runway, the Cross-Runway (runway 23), was until recently used on
very rare occasions when there were severe cross South westerly winds.
Further it was only used for arriving aircraft. This cross-runway 23 has
now been taken out of service permanently and it's used as part of a
The Northern runway is 3,902m (4267.3 yards) in length and 45m (49.2
The Southern runway is 3,658m (4000.4 yards) in length and 45m (49.2
Originally there were six runways, constructed in pairs at different
angles to allow take-off and lands in all wind conditions. Modern requirements
however have meant only the Northern and Southern
Runways are capable of handling modern air traffic. The new runway will
handle both take-off's and landings, called mixed mode. BAA have stated
this would mean the need for terminal facilities North of the bath Road.
If true this would devastate local communities and another long running
saga along the lines of T5
can be expected.
A government white paper 'The Future of Air Transport', shows the UK
government supports a new short runway of 2000 meters to allow for
future expansion. This runway will be for narrow body aircraft.
Heathrow, together with Gatwick and Stansted, are owned the BAA, a
private company, this wasn't always the case. Starting life as the
British Airports Authority this was a government owned body, but was
privatised in July 1987.
Armed police patrols are a common site at Heathrow. This is not due to
any recent events but has been the case for many years due to the
history of IRA attacks on London and other past terrorist attacks on
airports across the world. Security is normally extra heavy for El Al
arrivals and departures. Indeed it was back on 17th April 1986 that
semtex was found in the bags of a woman raying to board an EL Al flight
(her boyfriend was from Jordan and had given them to her).