Owned and operated by BAA, a Spanish Ferrovial Group, the airport is the primary hub for British Airways, BMI and Virgin Atlantic.
The airport is located west of London and is one of two airports located within the boundary of the Greater London area, the other being London City Airport.
It has two parallel main runways running east to west and four major terminals. Terminal five is scheduled to open March 2008.
It is also the largest passenger airport in Europe.