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England

London Heathrow Airport has more international passenger traffic than any other airport in the world.


There are air transport facilities in England connected the public to numerous international locations, the largest airport is London Heathrow Airport which in terms of passenger volume in the busiest in Europe and one of the busiest in the world. Other large airports include Manchester Airport, London Stansted Airport, Luton Airport and Birmingham International Airport. By sea there is ferry transport, both for internal and external trips, some of the most common links are to Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium. Travel by waterways such as rivers, canals, docks is common with around 7,100 km (4,400 mi) of navigable waterways in England, half of which is owned by British Waterways (Waterscape). The Thames is the major waterway in England, with imports and exports focused at the Port of Tilbury, one of the United Kingdom's three major ports.

London Heathrow Airport or Heathrow (IATA: LHRICAO: EGLL), in the London Borough of Hillingdon, is the largest airport in the United Kingdom. It is the fourth busiest airport in the world (as of 2010) in terms of total passenger traffic and it handles more international passengers than any other airport in the world. It is also the busiest airport in the European Union in terms of passenger traffic and the second busiest in Europe in terms of traffic movements, second to Paris CDG airport in Paris, France. According to the Geneva, Switzerland-based Airports Council International, London's Heathrow airport was the world's busiest with 40 million passengers in the eight months period of 2010, followed by Paris and Hong Kong.

The airport is owned and operated by BAA, who also own and operate five other UK airports. BAA is owned by ADI Limited, an international consortium led by the Spanish Ferrovial Group, which also includes Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and GIC Special Investments. Heathrow is a primary hub for BMI and British Airways, and is a base for Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Heathrow is 12 nautical miles (22 km; 14 mi) west of Central London, and has two parallel main runways spanning east-to-west and four operational terminals. The site covers 12.14 square kilometres (4.69 sq mi). Terminal 5 was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 14 March 2008 and opened to passengers on 27 March 2008. Construction of a new Terminal 2 complex to replace the terminal building and adjacent Queen's Building began in 2009; the first phase is expected to open in 2014. Terminals 3 and 4 underwent major refurbishments that began in 2007 and were completed in 2009. In November 2007 a consultation process began for the building of a new third runway and a sixth terminal and it was controversially approved on 15 January 2009 by UK Government ministers. The project was then cancelled on 12 May 2010 by the Cameron Government.

Heathrow Airport has a CAA Public Use Aerodrome License (Number P527) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction.

Heathrow is located 12 NM (22 km; 14 mi) west of central London, near the southern end of the London Borough of Hillingdon. The airport stands on a parcel of land that was designated part of the Metropolitan Green Belt. To the north, the airport is surrounded by the built-up areas of Harlington, Harmondsworth, Longford and Cranford. To the east are Hounslow and Hatton, and to the south are East Bedfont and Stanwell. To the west, the M25 motorway separates the airport from Colnbrook in Berkshire.

The airport's location to the west of London, and the east-west orientation of its runways, means that airliners usually approach to land directly over the city. Other leading European airports, such as those at Madrid, Frankfurt and Paris, are located north or south of their cities, to minimize the overflying problem. Another disadvantage of the site is that it is low-lying, at 83 feet (25 m) above sea level, and can be prone to fog.

Heathrow is one of seven airports serving the London area, along with Biggin Hill, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, Southend and City although only Heathrow, Biggin Hill and City Airports are located within Greater London.

Rail transport in England is the oldest in the world, with the system originating there in 1825. Much of Britain's 16,116 kilometers (10,014 mi) of rail network lies in England, covering the country extensively. These lines are mostly single, double or quadruple track, though there are narrow gauge lines. There is rail transport access to France and Belgium through an undersea rail link, the Channel Tunnel which was completed in 1994.