Difference Between Heathrow and Gatwick Airport (With Table)

London Heathrow international airport, popularly known as the Heathrow airport and the London Gatwick international airport, also known as the Gatwick airport, are international airports of London.

The Heathrow airport is located near Hillingdon, London, England, and The Gatwick airport is located near Crawley, West Sussex, England. They are among the six international airports that are functional in the London region along with City, Luton, Stansted, and Southend.

Heathrow Airport vs Gatwick Airport

The difference between Heathrow and Gatwick airport is that Heathrow airport is bigger. It has five terminals and four runways, while the Gatwick airport has two terminals and two runways. Heathrow airport is the busiest airport in London, followed by Gatwick airport. Americans prefer to board via the Heathrow airport while Europeans prefer the Gatwick airport.

Heathrow airport is one of the six major international airports in London. Until 1966, it was called the London airport. It was opened on 31 May 1946 and is located in Hillingdon, London, England. This airport facility is operated by Heathrow Airport holdings. It is the third busiest airport in Europe as far as passenger traffic is concerned.

On the other hand, Gatwick airport is an international airport located 29.5 miles to the South of London. When total passenger traffic is considered, it is the second busiest airport after Heathrow. It is also ranked as the tenth busiest airport in Europe. It was initially opened as an aerodrome In 1920 and has been used by commercial flights since 1933. It is located at an elevation of 203 ft. The airport comprises two terminals and one runway.

Comparison Table Between Heathrow and Gatwick Airport

Parameters of ComparisonHeathrow AirportGatwick Airport
AboutHeathrow airport is one out of the six international airports of London which is the primary hub for the British Airways. Gatwick airport is an international airport located 29.5 miles to the South of London.
OperatorHeathrow airport limited Gatwick Airport Limited
ServesLondon London and South East England
LocationHillingdon, London, EnglandCrawley, West Sussex, England
Focus city forVirgin AtlanticEasyJet UK TUI airways Wizz Air UK
OwnershipBritish Airports authorityGlobal infrastructure partners
Opened31 May 1946 1933
Elevation AMSL83 ft/ 25 m 203 ft/ 62 m
RunwaysFourTwo
TerminalsFiveTwo
Preferred byAmericansEuropeans
Rail linksFaster and better than Gatwick Slower than Heathrow

What is Heathrow Airport?

Heathrow airport is one of the six international airports in London. Until 1966, it was called the London airport. This airport facility is operated by Heathrow Airport holdings. It was opened on 31 May 1946 and is located in Hillingdon, London, England. It is the third busiest airport in Europe as far as passenger traffic is concerned.

It has a total of five terminals, out of which four are passenger terminals, and one is a cargo terminal. It is located at an elevation of 83 Feets. It is the primary hub for the British Airways and the main base for the Virgin Atlantica.

Heathrow airport is used by 80 airlines that travel to 185 destinations situated in 84 different countries. There is a multi-faith prayer room and a counseling Room in each terminal of Heathrow airport.

The internal roads of the airport are coded by the initial letter of the area, such as the Newall road is found in the North, Elmdon road is found in the East, Stratford Road is found in the South, Walrus road is found in the West and Camborne road is found in the central region.

What is Gatwick Airport?

Gatwick airport is an international airport located 29.5 miles to the South of London. When total passenger traffic is considered, it is the second busiest airport after Heathrow. It is also ranked as the tenth busiest airport in Europe.

It is located at an elevation of 203 ft. It opened as an aerodrome In 1920 and has been used by commercial flights since 1933. The airport comprises two terminals and one runway.

The Gatwick district of Sussex police manages the security of Gatwick airport. The airport is a base for British Airways, Wizz Air, EasyJet, as well as chartered operators like TUI Airways. Gatwick is considered to be a unique airport because of the availability of all three services, including low-cost, full service, and charter planes.

Main Differences Between Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport

  1. Heathrow airport is bigger than Gatwick airport.
  2. The Heathrow airport is owned by the British Airports authority, while the Gatwick airport is owned by the Global infrastructure partners.
  3. There are 4 runways and 5 terminals at the Heathrow airport, while there Re two runways and two terminals at the Gatwick airport.
  4. Gatwick airport is preferred for chartered flights.
  5. Americans prefer to travel from Heathrow airport while Europeans prefer the Gatwick airport.
  6. The Heathrow airport is located at an elevation of 83 ft, while the Gatwick airport is located at an elevation of 203 ft.
  7. The Heathrow airport is the base for Virgin Atlantic, while the Gatwick airport is the base for EasyJet UK, TUI Airways, and Wizz Air UK.
  8. The Heathrow airport serves London while the Gatwick airport serves both London and South East England.

Conclusion

There are six international airports in London, namely the City, Luton, Stansted, Heathrow, Gatwick, and Southend. Out of these, Heathrow is the largest, followed by Gatwick when passenger traffic is considered.

When we consider passenger traffic, Heathrow ranks first, followed by Gatwick airport. Also, According to passenger traffic, Heathrow is the third busiest airport in England and Gatwick is the tenth. They are located at different elevations and are owned by different companies. Heathrow is owned by the British Airports Authority, while Gatwick is owned by Global infrastructure partners.

Multiple factors differentiate both of these airports from one another. Be it the area covered by them or their location. Be it the number of runways and terminals or the ownership, be it the passenger flow or the base, there is a major difference between these two airports.

References

  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/621533
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=I2O1BAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT4&dq=Gatwick+airport&ots=90DUTNIaRp&sig=HeI8nJOe7Mu6klPxgiaoCD6Dedg
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