Greater London TW6
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Over 90 airlines fly from Heathrow to over 180 locations worldwide, carrying over 72 million passengers and 1.4 million tonnes of cargo each year. Heathrow has five terminals, two main runways, and a cross wind runway.
The airport provides a wide range of facilities including those for business, children and disabled travellers. It also offers a full range of 1st class airport services.
Public transport to and from Heathrow airport is reliable and frequent. There are plenty of coaches, taxis and regular trains, including the Heathrow Express. Alternatively there are plenty of airport parking companies, car hire providers and airport hotels nearby.
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, Longford and 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.
Heathrow Airport started in 1929 as a small airfield (Great West Aerodrome) on land south-east of the hamlet of Heathrow from which the airport takes its name. At that time there were farms, market gardens and orchards there: there was a "Heathrow Farm" about where Terminal 1 is now, a "Heathrow Hall" and a "Heathrow House". This hamlet was largely along a country lane (Heathrow Road) which ran roughly along the east and south edges of the present central terminals area.
Development of the whole Heathrow area as a very big airfield started in 1944: it was stated to be for long-distance military aircraft bound for the Far East. But by the time the airfield was nearing completion, World War II had ended. The government continued to develop the airfield as a civil airport; known as London Airport and later as Heathrow.
Heathrow Airport is used by over 90 airlines flying to 170 destinations worldwide. The airport is the primary hub of British Airways, and is a base for Virgin Atlantic. It has five passenger terminals (numbered 1 to 5) and a cargo terminal.
Of Heathrow's 73.4 million passengers in 2014, 93% were international travellers; the remaining 7% were bound for UK destinations. The busiest single destination in passenger numbers is New York, with over 3 million passengers flying between Heathrow and JFK Airport in 2013.
Policing of the airport is the responsibility of the aviation security unit of the Metropolitan Police, although the army, including armoured vehicles of the Household Cavalry, has occasionally been deployed at the airport during periods of heightened security.
Full body scanners are now used at the airport, and passengers who object to their use after being selected are not allowed to fly. These display passengers' bodies as a cartoon-style figure, with indicators showing where concealed items may be. The new imagery was introduced initially as a trial in September 2011 following complaints over privacy.