Terminal passengers rise to 216m in 2004
Terminal passengers at civil airports, United Kingdom
In 2004, the number of terminal passengers at UK airports rose to 216 million, from 4 million in 1954.
The numbers of passengers fell in the recession year of 1974, and in 1991, the year of the Gulf war, before continuing upward. There was also a marked flattening of the upward trend in 2001 the result of foot-and-mouth disease and September 11. Numbers resumed their steep rise from 2002 onwards.
The number of passenger kilometres flown by UK airlines increased markedly over the past twelve years, from 143 billion kilometres in 1992 to 273 billion in 2004. Around 96 per cent of the 2004 total was accounted for by international travel.
Almost nine in ten UK air passengers in 2004 were travelling internationally. The country with which the United Kingdom exchanges the most air traffic is Spain. There were 33 million passenger movements between the two countries in 2004.
Heathrow is the busiest airport in the United Kingdom, with 67 million terminal passengers in 2004. Gatwick is the second busiest (31 million passengers).
Demand for air travel is projected to continue growing well into the 21st century. Mid-range estimates from the Department for Transport suggest that between 2005 and 2020 the number of terminal passengers at UK airports will grow from 229 million to 401 million.
Source: Department for Transport
Notes: Passengers are recorded at both airport of departure and arrival so the 200 million terminal passengers includes 22.6 million domestic passengers who are in effect ‘double counted’.