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FAQs: our company

Answers to frequently asked questions about our company.

Has your question not been answered? Feel free to contact us.

What airports does Heathrow own?

We own Heathrow and Southampton airports in the South East of England, and Glasgow and Aberdeen airports in Scotland.

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How is Heathrow regulated?

We comply with strict regulations set by the Department for Transport governing many aspects of our operation. The price we charge airlines is set by the Civil Aviation Authority.

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What is Heathrow's view on regional airports?

Regional airports will continue to grow in coming years, offering more choice to more people. This is good for the economy, as it spreads the wealth generated by airports around the country.

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How can aviation as a whole reduce its environmental impact?

We think the best way to do this is through emissions trading. Companies have limits set on their overall emissions; if they exceed their limit they need to buy surplus from other companies. Industries which cut their emissions can sell their surplus on.

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Should the airline industry pay a 'green tax'?

Passengers already pay Air Passenger Duty, which is a straightforward tax designed to reduce demand. But it does little to reduce emissions or encourage aviation companies to adopt more sustainable practices. Emissions trading offers the best solution.

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What is Heathrow's position on night flights?

We understand that there's a fine balance between the economic benefits of early morning flights and the disruption it can cause to local residents. The number of flights we are able to operate is strictly controlled by the Department for Transport.

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Are our airports safe from terrorism?

Security is our number one priority and our systems and staff are among the best in the world. Of course, we can't say that air travel is 100% risk-free but we are working together with many organisations to keep air travel safe. There's a huge amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to keep everyone safe at all times.

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Why is Heathrow involved in retail?

Retail is a key part of our business activities. The money we make from retail subsidises the landing fees we charge to airlines. In turn, this has created a thriving airline business and gives passengers more choice.

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If you had fewer shops, could you manage more flights?

The biggest constraints on the number of flights are runway space and aircraft parking bays. The number of shops has little impact on the number of flights running.

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Can I view or order photographs/videos of the airport?

Heathrow's Photo Library and Video Library feature airport and aviation photography and video which is available for purchase for a negotiated fee.

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Who do I contact about aircraft noise?

Each of our airports has a dedicated noise enquiry telephone number. You'll find it on the Contact Us page of the relevant airport website.

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Who do I contact about sponsorship (community projects etc)?

You'll find our corporate responsibility contacts on the Contact Us page of the relevant airport website.

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What is the current airport tax imposed on passengers?

Airport tax is called Air Passenger Duty (APD) and is imposed on passengers by the government. Heathrow is not involved in levying or collecting this tax. It is paid when passengers book their ticket with the airline, and collected by the Government once the journey has taken place. 

There are different rates of APD depending on the ticket types and journey type (EU/non-EU). For further information see the HM Revenue & Customs website. Taxes and charges are explained by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) website

For information on airport charges, which are imposed by Heathrow on airlines (not a tax), please see our regulation information page.

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Our history

Avro Lancastrian, 1946

From humble beginnings, Heathrow grew to be a major world airport.

Heathrow's history