Bigger aircraft enable further growth at Heathrow

Passenger numbers continue to fly at Heathrow

Passenger numbers continue to fly at Heathrow while it waits for expansion

Heathrow said today a record 78m passengers travelled through the airport previous year, marking a 3.1 per cent rise on 2016, despite its capacity headaches as it waits to expand. The USA, Japan and Hong Kong were among the fastest growing markets for cargo.

In addition to record-breaking passenger numbers, 1.7 million metric tonnes of cargo travelled through Heathrow, which it says is equivalent to 134,000 London buses or 136 copies of the Shard building. Across the year, the key markets for cargo were the US, East Asia and Europe.

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In a further piece of encouraging news, Heathrow said that its noise footprint was at its smallest recorded level in 11 years, with 15 per cent fewer households affected by noise. Nighttime jet traffic also decreased by close to a third - or 32 per cent - in 2017.

Commenting on the results, Heathrow Airport's CEO John Holland-Kaye, said: "Heathrow had its best year ever in 2017, helping to strengthen the British economy as the country seeks to redefine its role in the world".

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Over 6.3m visitors travelled through Heathrow in December alone, representing an increase of +2.8% compared to the same period in 2016. In the run up to Christmas, 248,288 passengers flew through Heathrow on the 22nd, making it the airport's busiest day of the month.

It said that domestic and emerging markets continued to be a particular source of traffic growth, with United Kingdom travel up 6.6 per cent on December 2016 and travel to Asia up 5.5 per cent. "We're looking forward to continuing to deliver for Britain in 2018 as we progress our expansion plans".

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