London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
History, Facts and Overview
In the early 1930s, London Heathrow Airport was known as the Great Western Aerodrome and just ten years later, plans were afoot to convert this site into an important regional airport. Additional land was purchased in the mid-1940s close to the suburb of Longford, with the Middlesex hamlet of Heath Row forming the main area, soon becoming the airport's namesake of Heathrow.
In 1946, civilian flights to Argentina commenced and just one year later, Heathrow Airport comprised three runways, with more planned. By the 1950s, the huge Europa Building and Oceanic terminals had been officially opened, with a further terminal added in 1968. Another major date in the history of London Heathrow Airport was 1997, when the London Underground train network was linked to Heathrow, meaning that the city centre could be easily reached in less than one hour.
Terminal 4 was completed in 1986 and some ten years later, the Heathrow Express train arrived and connected the centrally located London Paddington rail station. London Heathrow International Airport (LHR) is currently owned by the Spanish-based BAA (British Airports Authority), who continue to make improvements, including the construction of the new Terminal 5, further runways and endless modern facilities.
Lettered zones and numbered gateways are to be found in each of the terminal buildings at London Heathrow Airport. The best selection of shops and restaurants are sited on the first floor of terminals 1, 3 and 4, including eateries such as Cafe Rouge, Skylark Wetherspoons, Pret a Manger and Costa Coffee. The first floor of Terminal 2 also features a range of airport shops, with World Duty Free, Fortnum and Mason, Hamleys and Harrods all being firm favourites with Heathrow passengers.