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Airport Fire Service

All aerodromes in the United Kingdom that operate public transport flights are required to hold a licence issued by the UK CAA.

One of the conditions of that licence is the requirement to provide a rescue and firefighting service which is available to make an immediate response during the published operating hours.

Empowered by the Air Navigation Order, which itself is generated from the Civil Aviation Act, our responsibilities are clearly defined in statute to provide a safety function for the operation of civil aircraft.

Heathrow is a large Category 10 airport that requires an appropriate fire and rescue service to protect life and property against some unique risks. The number of flights and the size of aircraft to facilitate our customers necessitates a well equipped and highly trained fire service.

We are proud that Heathrow's fire and rescue service meets and exceeds all required standards. As well as the protection of life, aircraft and terminal buildings, additional challenges include a busy cargo facility, train and underground lines, motorways and reservoirs, all requiring versatile skills and equipment.

Heathrow simultaneously operates two runways. Due to the airport's size and complexity we have two fire stations to ensure we meet our commitments, one of which is a response time of no more than two minutes 30 seconds to either end of the runways.

Our 100-plus operational team is divided into four watches providing continuous cover, backed up by a team of senior officers and administration staff.