Passenger traffic at London Heathrow Airport
As well as being the most populous city in the European Union, London is also one of Europe’s major commercial hubs and has the largest city airspace in the world. There are eight airports serving the London area, including Gatwick (IATA: LGW), Stansted (IATA: STN) and Heathrow (IATA: LHR). London Heathrow Airport is the largest airport in the United Kingdom and the third busiest in the world, handling well over 65 million passengers annually. To put this figure into perspective, the airport handled more passengers in 2011 than the airports in Orlando and Philadelphia combined. In 2011, around 77.4 million passengers boarded or left the planes at Beijing Capital International Airport (IATA: PEK) in China, while the world’s busiest airport in Atlanta (IATA: ATL) handled some 92.4 million passengers in the same year.
After the reopening of Terminal 2 (the Queen's Terminal) on June 4, 2014, Heathrow is back to operating five terminals. Terminal 5, which was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II in 2008, resulted in construction costs of some 5.6 billion euros (or about 4.7 billion British pounds), making it one of the most expensive airport restructuring projects worldwide. The airport is owned and operated by Heathrow Airport Holdings, which itself is owned by Spanish construction contractor Ferrovial (one of the largest European construction companies). In 2014, Heathrow Airport Holdings generated total revenue of around 2.7 billion British pounds (or about 3.76 billion US dollars).