Heathrow Airport, also known as London Heathrow (IATA: LHR, ICAO: EGLL), is a major international airport in London, United Kingdom. Heathrow Airport originated in 1929 as a small airfield (Great West Aerodrome) on land south-east of the hamlet of Heathrowfrom which the airport takes its name. At that time there were farms, market gardens and orchards there: there was a "Heathrow Farm" about where the old Terminal 1 was and where Terminal 2 is, a "Heathrow Hall" and a "Heathrow House". Development of the whole Heathrow area as a very much larger airport began 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 airport as a civil airport. The airport was opened on 25 March 1946 as London Airport and was renamed Heathrow Airport in 1966. The masterplan for the airport was designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd, who designed the original terminals and central area buildings, including the original control tower and the multi-faith chapel of St George's.
Today, Heathrow is the second busiest airport in the world (after Dubai International Airport) 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 480,339 aircraft movements, an increase of 4,715 from 2017.
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 owned and operated by Heathrow Airport Holdings. London Heathrow is the primary hub for British Airways and the primary operating base for Virgin Atlantic.
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