Let us see how to decide which the best airport in the world. There are various categories to compare. The size of the airport and the number of flights it handles on a daily basis is one criterion. Similarly, the number of passengers it is capable of handling in a day is another important characteristic. The facilities on offer are also one of the prime qualifying requisites. There are other factors such as ease of navigation, immigration facilities, passenger services and amenities, transport and lodging facilities, catering arrangements, cleanliness, and so on. The list can be an endless one.
We shall look at who decides which airport is the best.Strictly speaking, it is people like us or the consumers who decide which of the airports deserve to rank as the best. You have consumer aviation websites like Skytrax that publishes its annual World Airport Awards. According to this list, Singapore’s Changi Airport ranks at the top for the fifth consecutive year running. Considering the fact that this website bases its ranking criteria on the passengers’ choice, one can consider the information as a global benchmark.
When you talk about the best airports in the world, one name features a lot on everybody’s lists. Yes, we are referring to Heathrow Airport. Ranked 9th in the list of the world’s best airports in 2017 (one notch below that of 2016), Heathrow ranks 3rd as far as European airports are concerned. Let us now look at the features of Heathrow Airport and see why it consistently ranks among the Top 10 Best Airports in the World.
These are the outstanding features of Heathrow Airport that contribute to making it as one of the best airports in the world.
• London is served by 6 airports, of which the largest one is Heathrow. Heathrow Airport has five terminals. Skytrax has ranked Terminal No 5 of Heathrow Airport as the best airport terminal in the world. Opened in March 2008, this terminal is where most of the British Airways flights land and take off, Capable of handling 30 million passengers, Terminal No 5 has 60 aircraft stands. This is the largest unsupported roof structure in UK. Home to more than a 100 shops and restaurants, you get a fantastic view of the surrounding countryside through its transparent walls and roof.
• If you consider passenger traffic as one of the leading characteristics, Heathrow ranks as the 3rd busiest airport in the world. In the year 2016, Heathrow Airport handled more than 7.5 million passengers. It amounts to around 2 lakh passengers on a daily basis. Now, this is an awesome figure.
• As far as international passengers are concerned, Heathrow Airport ranks at the top of the list with 93% of the passengers being international.
• Heathrow Airport is used by more than 80 airlines catering to 185 destinations in 84 countries. Nearly 1300 planes take off or land on a daily basis at Heathrow. This amounts to nearly one plane per minute. Booking Mumbai to London flight tickets at low price should not be a problem because Mumbai is also one of the destinations it services.
• At present, Heathrow Airport has two runways on around 12 square kilometres of land.Construction of a third runway is under consideration. This facility will increase the number of passengers travelling through Heathrow significantly.
• Heathrow Airport boasts of one of the best public transport system with a non-stop metro train service every 15 minutes from the airport to London’s Paddington station. There is a proposal to build a rail link from this airport to London’s other airport at Gatwick. London’s underground Piccadilly Line serves the passenger terminals very well. You can get to Central London in just around 40 to 50 minutes. In addition you have various buses and coaches ready to serve the huge passenger traffic.
• The security arrangements at Heathrow Airport are excellent. They have installed new full-body scanners that display passenger bodies as cartoon figures. They have special indicators that display where the concealed items could be placed. However, people who object to its use have the option of submitting to a hand search in a private room.
• Heathrow Airport has the reputation of being one of the cleanest airports in the world. They have excellent facilities for passengers who have to wait for their flights.
When you have such a high volume of traffic throughout the day, there are always chances of baggage getting misplaced or lost. Heathrow Airport has its share of troubles in this regard. In spite of these problems, this airport ranks at No 9 on the World Airport Awards list. This is a commendable feature.
You have just seen some of the salient features of Heathrow Airport. This airport has all the facilities one should expect a top international airport to have. It is no surprise that Heathrow Airport is a consistent member of the Top 10 Best airports in the world.