Heathrow said today a record 78m passengers travelled through the airport a year ago, marking a 3.1 per cent rise on 2016, despite its capacity headaches as it waits to expand.
In addition to record-breaking passenger numbers, 1.7 million metric tonnes of cargo travelled through Heathrow, which it says is equivalent to 134,000 London buses or 136 copies of the Shard building. Key markets for cargo transport were the US, East Asia and Europe.
Heathrow's annual noise and contour report revealed that the airport's noise footprint was at its smallest recorded level in 11 years with 15% fewer households affected by noise, as a result of working with airlines to encourage the use of quieter aircraft.
In December, the airport shuttled over 6.3 million passengers through its terminals, representing a 2.8 per cent increase on the same month in 2016 despite flight cancellations as a result of adverse weather and de-icing issues involving British Airways. Latin America (+5.5%) and Asia Pacific (+4.5%) also delivered growth well above the average. Over 143,000 metric tonnes travelled through Heathrow in December (+7.3%), as the United Kingdom economy benefited from the end-of-year peak around the world.
The airport said that Heathrow had also become one of the fastest growing major European hubs for cargo.
"Heathrow had its best year ever in 2017 helping to strengthen the British economy as the country seeks to redefine its role in the world", said chief executive John Holland-Kaye. "We're looking forward to continuing to deliver for Britain in 2018 as we progress our expansion plans".