London’s first scheduled services began fifty years ago – back in 1946, with 9,000 flights out of Heathrow.
Today the city has 6 key Airports, including the 2 major international airports; London Heathrow and London Gatwick. Other flights are available from Stansted (General), Luton (Package), London City (European, Business and Private) and London Biggin Hill (Business, Private).
London is within 3 hours flying time from 41 European cities, 7 hours 40 minutes from New York, 11 hours 45 minutes from Tokyo and 30 minutes from Cape Town, British Airways (0181 753 2525) and Virgin Atlantic (01293 511581) are the UK’s busiest airlines.
London Heathrow and London Gatwick have excellent disabled / special needs services.
London Heathrow is 15 miles west of the capital on the M4 motorway and has 4 terminals. Make sure you check the terminal number you set off. It is the world’s busiest airport, handling 55 million passengers a year, with 93 airlines serving 220 destinations. Also, 70% of UK airport trade is out of Heathrow. Public transport connections to Heathrow are excellent. The airport is served by 3 underground stations on the Piccadilly Line (Hatton Cross, Heathrow Terminals 1, 2 & 3, Terminal Trains run 19 hours a day, taking 40-50 minutes.
The Central Bus and Coach Station is the busiest in the UK. Over 1,600 services ran to over 1,000 destinations every daу in the UK and Europe. If you’re carrying a lot of luggage, London Transport operates 2 Airbus Services into London : A1 and A2 with pick up points at all 4 terminals. Services take 50-50 minutes, running every 20-30 minutes.
National Express coaches operate to Victoria Coach Station (35 minutes).
Car Parking is plentiful – there are Short Term (up to 12 hours) and Long Term Parks. Several major Car Rental companies have offices in the airport. The Heathrow Taxi Park is the largest concentration of cabs in Britain. There are Black Cab ranks at each terminal and Drivers charge around 30 – 35 pounds to central London with additional charges for luggage, extra passengers, travel after 8.00 pm and at weekends.
Within the complex there are many high street retail outlets, duty and tax-free areas, restaurants and bars, plus hotel booking desks and other public services, with BAA desks in each terminal.
Tourist Information Centres are located at Terminal 2 and the Underground entrance.
London Gatwick to the south on the M23 motorway is the 2nd largest airport in the UK and one of the world’s busiest. It won the World’s 3rd Best Airport at the Executive Travel Awards 1997 and for the third time in 4 years won ‘Best UK Airport’ award. With more than 280 destinations worldwide, including 20 to the USA it reaches morе destinations than any other European airport including Heathrow, and is increasingly popular with business travelers.
Gatwick pioneered the fast Track To Business concept with a red carpet route for first and business class travelersthrough the car parks, passport control, bureau de change and duty free areas. The British Rail Station is adjacent to South Terminal with Thameslink & Network operating trains to London, Brighton and other south-east towns. The Gatwick Express connects to Victoria Station in 30 minutes. Trains every 15 minutes from 5.30 am to 8.00 p.m., every 30 minutes until l.00 am and every hour on the hour from 1.00 to 5.00 am. National Express Airlink coaches service UK and Continental destinations, London & Country Buses and Hotel link also offer services. London is best reached by train, but there are local Taxi ranks. Car Hire companies have desks within the complex there is plentiful Short and Long Term Car Parking.
The BAA has Information desks with 24 banking facilities and a hotel reservations desk. An impressive array of 200 national Shops in the department lounges, and duty-free and pre-passport control areas.
Stansted Airport, London’s newest airport is 35 miles north east of London. This international airport is becoming increasingly popular, and is London’s 3rd largest airport. A new direct Rail link from Liverpool Street Station Stansted express takes 45 minutes with trains every half hour until 11.00 pm.
London City Airport, close to the heart of London in Docklands is 8 miles to the east, highly convenient for business travelersand for weekend and charter travelers. Average transit time from central to boarding is only 15 minutes. There is a business and conference central and 9 other modern services and facilities. London City is 15-30 minutes by road from London, using the M11 & M25 motorways: 6 miles from the financial district and 8 miles from the West End.
The nearest British Rail Station at Silvertown is 15 minutes’ walk. City Airport station also connects with the underground District fine at Ham. Frequent Shuttlebus services run from London City to Canary Wharf Rail Station taking 8 minutes.
London Biggin Hill offers a flying experience that is second to none. 45 minutes drive from London the airport serves owners, private and business charter travelers.
Biggin Hill is London’s leading executive airport with a VIP experience that extends to business people on charter, with conference rooms and corporate hospitality suites. Operators can arrange executive packages for private charter and corporate hospitality days. Limousines meet arriving aircraft and it takes a mere 7 minutes clearance from landing to departure from the airport.
Luton Airport is 33 miles north of London and handles mainly charter flights. Trains run from St Pancras end Kings Cross Thames in 30 minutes. By road, take the M1, it’s about an hour. Taxi or buses to the airport from Luton station take 10 minutes.
Answer the question:
How many airports are there in London?
Text 4. TIPS FOR PLANE TOURISTS