Are you due to fly out from a UK airport? Some of the main airports in the UK are renowned for being busy, with customer numbers reaching the millions. The London airports are by far the busiest in the UK, with both national, international and connecting flights taking off and landing regularly. Manchester is the only non-London airport in the busiest five, with Edinburgh just missing the list at number six. We’ve listed the five busiest airports in the UK to help you get an idea of what to expect if you’re flying to or from them.
Heathrow has retained its top spot as the busiest UK airport for quite some years, and this doesn’t look set to change any time soon. It is the fifth busiest airport in the world by total passenger traffic, and in 2014 handled a record 73.4 million passengers – a 1.4% increase from the year before. Heathrow is used by ninety different airlines which fly to 170 different destinations worldwide.
Gatwick is the second largest international airport in London and also the second-busiest when it comes to passenger traffic. Gatwick is the leading airport in Europe for point-to-point flights, and is home to the busiest single use runway in the world with anything up to fifty-five aircraft movements per hour. In 2014, Gatwick handled 38.1 million passengers, a 7.5% increase from the previous year. The airport is also home to a number of passenger hotels – click here to find the best hotel in Gatwick.
The third busiest airport in the UK and the busiest of the non-London airports, Manchester International Airport is based in Ringway, Manchester. The 17th busiest airport in the European Union, Manchester airport provides flights to a huge 225 destinations – more than any other airport in the UK. Currently, Manchester Airport handles 20.8 million passengers per year, and is the only British airport other than Heathrow to operate two runways over 3,280 yards in length.
London Stanstead is an international airport located in the local government district of Uttlesford in Essex. A base for a number of low-cost European airlines, Stanstead saw an 11.7% increase in passenger traffic during 2014, with a total passenger number of 19.9 million. Stanstead is the largest base for low-cost airline Ryanair which flies to over one hundred destinations from this airport.
Located two miles from Junction 10a of the M1 motorway, London Luton is the fourth largest London airport, and the fifth busiest airport in the UK. In 2014, just under 10.5 million passengers passed through Luton airport, a figure which is expected to rise. It serves as a base for a number of low-cost airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair, with the vast majority of the routes served being within Europe although there are some chartered and scheduled routes to destinations in Asia and Northern Africa.
Have you ever travelled from one of the United Kingdom’s busiest airports? What was the experience like? We’d love to hear from you – leave your response in the comments section below.