The 10 Busiest Airports In The UK

The UK is an incredibly popular location to visit. But the nation is also known for loving a holiday and fly all across the world. The close proximity to Europe means that the UK is a great base to travel elsewhere.

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To keep up with this constant demand, the UK has over 20 airports, both big and small. There are some particularly famous ones on this list but we're taking a look at ten of the biggest airports in all of the UK, based on size, how many flights they have, where they fly to and how many people pass through.


Gatwick Airport is one of the most famous locations to fly from in the UK. Its location, very close to London, means that it is very accessible for many people in the South. It's extremely well connected and has a couple of runways to work with.

The North and South Terminal allows for the airport to be far busier than others on this list. It has all the features you would expect from a good airport, such as a range of shops and restaurants, although the procedures are often slow due to over 46,000,000 passing through in a given year.


Stansted is on the smaller end of the London airports, but it specializes in flying all across Europe. While it's difficult to get a flight to somewhere like America from this airport, there are still a wide range of options from here.

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The airport has a great setup although only one terminal, which does make it far busier than it should be. The proximity of the hotels means that it's very easy to stay overnight and the airport has a brilliant train station that connects its 27,000,000 visitors across the country.


Heathrow is by far the busiest airport in the UK. With talk of yet another runway being built within this famous location, it's likely that the popularity could almost double if plans go ahead. This may be bad news for staff however.

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The airport is usually slow-moving because of how busy it is. Over 80,000,000 people can pass through here in a year and that number continues to grow. But, there really are very few places that Heathrow doesn't fly to, showing how great it really is.


Manchester airport is the major connecting point for those living in the north of England. It's incredibly big in terms of the actual size of the airport, with the location actually boasting three different terminals.

It's probably so well known because Manchester is a well-known city within the UK. Many people will wish to visit Manchester itself, especially from Europe, but because of the number of terminals, it's incredibly busy with over 28,000,000 people passing through.


Luton is the fourth London airport on this list and as such, it is the smallest of the four. Because the city is so busy though and so well connected, there's still plenty of people passing through this smaller airport.

With over 16,000,000 people using the airport every year, the size of it can't really cope with the demand. The airport offers a number of niche locations which is why it's still so popular and is often a cheaper choice for locals to use.


Birmingham is a very working-class city and is part of the soul of the North of England. It's another location that's well known outside of the UK making it a popular flying destination, especially if you want to avoid Manchester airport.

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It's a slightly cheaper alternative although it's not as well connected as Manchester and you can do less there. Over 12,000,000 people fly to and from the airport each year and it still manages to boast over 100,000 flights!


One of the biggest airports in Scotland is incredibly important for the tourism of the region. Edinburgh is of course the capital of Scotland and so the airport has to accommodate the number of people looking to visit the Scottish city.

It's a well-connected airport with a variety of flights across Europe and beyond. However, a number of flights actually come to and from other UK airports, including the London ones we spoke of earlier. Over 14,000,000 people pass through each year.


Another Scottish city now, Glasgow is not quite as busy as Edinburgh because it is not the capital, however it does cater to another audience in a slightly different part of the country.

The relatively modern airport advertises its connections to London, showing what it prioritizes. However, it allows locals to travel to a number of especially sunny places for the summer holidays, with over 9,000,000 people using the airport each year.


The capital of Northern Ireland has an incredibly popular airport. Because Northern Ireland is not connected to mainland UK, many people from England, Wales and Scotland decide to fly to Belfast rather than going by boat.

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Belfast is also an incredibly beautiful city and the popularity of Northern Ireland is starting to increase internationally. It's unclear whether the already busy airport, with over 2,000,000 visitors, will be able to cope with the increased pressure.


The capital of Wales, of course, has an important airport too. Cardiff itself is incredibly modern and the airport, of course, matches that. With only 31,000 flights a year though it is the least busy airport compared to other capital cities.

This may be in part because many people choose to drive to Cardiff or get the train rather than fly, decreasing the amount of local tourism. Internationally, many people choose to go to Scotland and England if they are to travel to the UK resulting in only 1,500,000 visitors a year.

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