What are these giants? List of big UK airports
These big airports are well-known around the world. They serve as landing and departing point for millions of passengers, have developed infrastructure, various amenities, and handle numerous aircraft each day (look at the Luton airport arrivals, for example). However, they’re also often become crowded, littered so that queues and long walks aren’t unusual. The shops and restaurants tend to be more expensive there, as well as hotels. However, big airports are usually the first ones to implement new security procedures and simplify them.
Here are top five the biggest airports in the UK:
- London Heathrow (LHR). Boasting the place of the 7th world’s largest airport, LHR is the first one in the UK. A plane departs or lands each 45 seconds here — and the timing is quite precise. The annual turnover of passengers makes over 80 million.
- London Gatwick (LGW). Being the tenth European and second British airport by size, London Gatwick boasts “the busiest world’s runway” that sees over 50 aircraft arriving or departing every hour. They bring 46 million travellers taking off from or arriving at 230 destinations.
- Manchester (MAN). The only non-Londoner out of the UK’s 5, the Manchester airport sees about 30 million passengers from all over the world yearly. The daily rate of takeoffs and landings makes 377 planes, which means a new aircraft is on the runway every four minutes.
- London Stansted (STN). 28 million travellers is a yearly turnover of the UK’s fourth the biggest airport. Its single runway is one of the busiest despatching or accepting a plane every three minutes or so.
- London Luton (LTN). More than 16 million travellers visit LTN per year, and another aircraft departs from or lands onto its single 7,000-feet runway every 5 minutes. The Luton airport flight arrivals board shows over 85 international and a few domestic destinations.
Small airports can be great, too! UK’s smallest air stations
Small airports tend to be cosy and comprehensive. They don’t have multiple passages and levels, and it’s hard to get lost in there. Still, they serve a limited number of flights and sometimes have the only means of connection (like a shuttle bus) with the city or nearby village. Shorter or absent queues make a plus while the most important advantage of a small airport is their exclusive flights. Sometimes, the airport is the only connection station with the islands or hard-to-reach places. At the same time, there isn’t a wide choice of amenities, and there can be limited to no seating. Small airports can also be closed for nighttime or a particular season. There’s often just a few airlines or even a single one operating there.
The smallest UK airports go as follows:
- Alderney (ACI). This smallest UK airport is visited by 53,000 people yearly, but it has three runways and two operating airlines. Besides, it has a direct connection with Southampton and Guernsey. The airport, though being tiny, has the arrivals hall, a cafe, and a duty-free shop.
- Land’s End (LEQ). Being the Southern endpoint of continental Britain, this airport serves as the only connection to Isles of Scilly for 59,000 passengers per year. The Skybus airline operates there round-the-year, and the panoramic private flights are available seasonally.
- St. Mary’s (ISC). The only Isles of Scilly airport, the St. Mary’s greets about 93,000 travellers yearly. A flight to Exeter doesn’t take more than one hour. The airport has a cafe and is equipped for people with special needs.
- Stornoway (SYY). The smallest Scottish airport, SYY is visited by 370 people a day on average, with 135,000 yearly rate. Apart from passenger flights (to and from Benbecula and inland Scotland), there’s a mail, oil, and gas supply performed through the airport.
- Teesside (MME). With only one 7,000-feet runway, MME serves six domestic destinations (including Wales, Scotland, England, and Northern Ireland) and five international ones. 150,000 passengers arrive and depart from the airport yearly. The airport has a cafe, car hire service, and other passenger facilities.