Heathrow and Gatwick see increases in passenger traffic
Heathrow and Gatwick - London and Britain’s two biggest airports - were busier than ever last year.
Heathrow passenger numbers jumped 1.4% to a record 73.4 million, while a record 38.12 million were handled at Gatwick - a 7.6% increase on 2013.
Irish radio and television news site, RTE, reports that Heathrow numbers were boosted by a record final month of the year which saw nearly six million passengers pass through the west London airport - a rise of 2.4% on the December 2013 figure.
Gatwick's December figure of 2.58 million was 8% up on the same month in 2013.
Heathrow's full-year total included a 6.3% rise in Latin America traffic, with East Asia up 5.2% and Middle East and Central Asia up 3.5%. At Gatwick, there was a 2.8% growth in North America traffic, while other long-haul destinations grew 12.1%.
Officials at both airports used the figures to back their case to be the site of a new runway which is being considered by the government-appointed Airports Commission this summer.
The Press Association also reports that London's third-busiest airport - Stansted in Essex - also had a good 2014, with passenger numbers rising 12.0% to more than 19.97 million. This was Stansted's best year since 2008 and was rounded off by December 2014 passenger levels of more than 1.56 million - an 18.5% increase on the December 2013 figure.