Friday, 22 January 2016

Happy birthday, Heathrow

LONDON’S Heathrow Airport celebrates its 70th birthday this month. Having started life as the Great West Aerodome in 1929, it was a military airfield during the Second World War, and in January 1946 it was taken over by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and established as a commercial airport.

The airport will be celebrating a number of key moments throughout 2016.

May 31 is the official date of Heathrow’s birthday – marking 70 years since the then newly-named London Airport officially opened for civilian aviation. The first commercial flight to depart that day was a British South American Airlines Lancastrian ‘Star Light’ which flew to Buenos Aires.

Since its opening, the UK’s only hub airport has grown significantly to handle more than 73 million passengers annually.

In 1946, passenger terminals were made from exmilitary marquees that formed a tented village along the Bath Road. Each was equipped with floral-patterned armchairs, sofas, and small tables on which stood vases of fresh flowers. To reach aircraft parked on the apron, passengers walked over wooden duckboards to protect their footwear from the muddy airfield.

By the close of Heathrow’s first operational year in 1946, 63,000 passengers had passed through the airport. By 1951 this had risen to 796,000 and British architect Frederick Gibberd was appointed to design permanent buildings for the airport.

Heathrow now:
  • Daily average air transport movements – 1,290 
  • Number of passengers arriving and departing per day: average 201,000 (split 50/50 between arriving and departing) 
  • Airlines: 90 
  • Destinations: 185 
  • Three out of 10 passengers using Heathrow are travelling for business, 70% 
  • 76,000 employees within the airport boundary 
  • The total size of Heathrow is 4.6 square miles 
  • CCTV cameras: More than 6,500 
Top destinations:
  • New York (JFK)
  • Dubai
  • Dublin
  • Hong Kong
  • Frankfurt 

Go Holiday news :

Picture Credit:">Heathrow misc - iPhone</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">(license)

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