Monster Hubs and Cosy Nooks: The Airports Of UK

Posted by on April 15, 2020 in Travel and Entertainment with 0 Comments

The British aviation started officially in 1908, with the Cody 1 taking off at Farnborough and subsequent construction of airports. Today, the UK is one of the busiest European countries, with 40+ passenger airports. Among them, there are large hubs with several million passenger’s turnover and small airports with just a few thousands of people visiting them.

Large airports can be overwhelming with crowds of people and considerable distance to go during the transfer stops. However, they usually handle the flights to the popular destinations (have a look at the Gatwick flight arrivals that make over 300 flights daily) and have developed infrastructure with many facilities.

The small airports are usually situated in the faraway places (e.g. on islands). They might feature frequent flight changes and / or cancellation, have a few amenities, and usually serve little destinations. However, they provide access to the places off the beaten path.

So, if you’d like to explore the UK in full, take a look at this list of smallest and biggest airports.

Largest UK airports

  1. London Heathrow is the permanent resident of the “Top 10 world airports” chart and takes the first place in Europe for the number of passengers and flights. The airport is situated only 82 ft above the sea level and often covered with fog. Nevertheless, this airport serves more than 80 mln passengers yearly through four of its passenger terminals. There are two runways sending the aircraft to 229 destinations in the world.
  2. London Gatwick is the second biggest and one of the oldest airports in the UK. It dates back to the small military aerodrome to the year 1933. Today, it consists of two large terminals accepting more than 45 mln travelers per year. Gatwick airport arrivals table shows the flights to 228 destinations, while the planes take off and land on a single runway (the additional one is used as a reserve runway).
  3. Manchester airport serves as the departure and arrival point for more than 29 mln passengers annually. It sends and accepts 377 planes a day coming or leaving to / from 171 destinations. There are three terminals for passengers having a SkyLink connection and travelators. It has two runways, more than 10,000 ft each. The waiting passengers can enjoy multiple lounges, shops, restaurants as well as the open venue of Runway Visitor Park.
  4. London Stansted is the third largest among London airports and the fourth in the UK. Its single terminal is visited by more than 27 mln passengers yearly. Its single runway sees a plane take off or land every 3 minutes or so. There are multiple amenities at the airport including shops, restaurants, places of worship, comfortable lounges. The visitors are offered free drinking water anytime.

Smallest UK airports

  1. Alderney airport is the only air connection of the Alderney Island and the first airport built on Channel Islands. The airport serves about 53,000 passengers, while the number has the tendency to decline. Its unique feature is three operating runways having in total 6923 ft. The airport operates only in the working hours serving daily flights to Southampton and Guernsey.
  2. Land’s End airport, with 64,000 passengers yearly turnover and only one destination (to and from St. Mary’s airport) makes one of the most picturesque places. Though small, it serves as a basic airport for Isles of Scilly Skybus airline. The airport operates scenic flights along the coast with the opportunity for aerial photography.
  3. St. Mary’s airport is the only airport on Scilly islands serving as a connection point with the inland UK. The first air service from the place dates back to 1937, while in 1949 the airport has been equipped with the waiting hall and operator tower. Today, 92,000 travelers visit the airport annually flying on planes and helicopters to three UK destinations including seasonal flights to Exeter.
  4. Stornoway airport is located in West Scotland and sees near 135,000 passengers yearly. Formerly a military aerodrome, it started commercial flights in 1993. Today, it operates about 28 flights a day to six destinations within the UK including Aberdeen and Manchester.

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