A record 80 million passengers travelled through Heathrow in 2018, making it one of only seven airports in the world to hit the milestone.

Passenger numbers for last year represent a 2.7 per cent increase on 2017’s traffic. The airport says its figures were boosted by the use of larger and fuller aircraft, showing the demand for air travel is still growing.

In addition, more than 1.6 million metric tonnes of cargo travelled through Heathrow, which the airport says is the equivalent of 761 London Eyes, 88 Shard buildings, or 32 QE2 ships. North America made up the largest proportion of cargo traffic at 600,000 tones, followed by Asia Pacific at 510,000 tonnes.

The news comes after Heathrow launched the next phase of its growth plans with a new public consultation on its proposed flight paths for the third runway.

The hub is also deploying anti-drone technology following mass disruption at Gatwick before Christmas. Flights at Heathrow were grounded for an hour earlier this week after a drone sighting forced the airport to shut its runways as a safety measure.

CEO John Holland-Kaye commented: “2018 has been an exceptional year for Heathrow, with record passenger numbers and service levels, and with MPs voting overwhelmingly in support of expansion. We are on track to deliver an expanded Heathrow in the early years of Brexit, which will keep Britain as one of the world’s great trading nations.”


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