Air travel in Great Britain is relatively easy for those traveling about the UK because of easy access to airports throughout the country. There are international airports, as well as those smaller ones that handle domestic travel. London alone is home to five international airports. Heathrow is London’s premier international airport and one of the busiest airports in the world. London also has four other international airports less than 35 miles from the city. Gatwick is a major international airport less than 30 miles south of London. London City airport is in the city area, only six miles east of London. Stansted is a growing international airport that located northeast of London, and Luton Airport is also another international airport that is northwest of the city. There is also a small local airport, Biggin Hill, 10 miles southeast of London. With so many airports to travel to and from, it is no wonder that London has so many flights going in and out of the city every day. British airways are busy indeed.
Heathrow Airport in London has flights entering and leaving from over 90 various countries with 180 destinations. There are around 30 million visitors who come to Britain each year. Passengers coming into the country or leaving it must have a passport or EEA National Identity Card for their entire stay in the UK. Visas are also required if the traveler is not a British citizen or a citizen of one of the European Economic Area (EEA) countries. A visa explains the reason why a visitor has come to England and how long they may stay. This includes the last day that the person can legally remain in the country. Stringent rules determine who enters Great Britain and who does not, but most visitors have no problem. Some nationals may enter by British air without a visa if they have arrived to marry a British citizen, and if they plan to remain in the country after marriage.
Security is tight when entering Great Britain by air from another area of the world. There are strict rules that are enforced to prevent the possibility of any terrorist occurrences, such as making sure that all baggage requirements are met before a passenger is allowed to board the plane. There are restrictions as to what can be packed in luggage and carry-on bags as well, such as limited amounts of liquids, gels, or pastes. Liquids must be in amounts less than 100 ml that are stored in plastic bottles which are then packed into reusable plastic bags. These must be carried in a carry-on bag through security.
Certain items are banned from taking aboard a flight headed for Great Britain as well, such as sharp items, and potential weapons. In fact in 2010, printer ink or toner cartridges were been banned due to an attempted terrorist attack in British air in which a printer cartridge was used. If passengers are leaving the country for a flight to the United States, they should expect further security measures than when flying elsewhere.
Recently, security measures for domestic flights have increased as well. Now, passengers who are leaving on a domestic flight, or are transferring from a flight that arrived from another country will be required to have their photograph taken before passing through immigration. This added security measure is to prevent any passenger from bypassing border controls.
Passengers can get to airports throughout Britain by use of car, taxi, bus, or train. There is a Heathrow Express train that is the fastest way to arrive at this airport. Non-stop trains leave every 15 minutes and travel to nearby spots to make domestic travel easy for all.