Who does what? | Heathrow

Who does what

Running airports is a complex business and we need to work in partnership with many other organisations to deliver a high-quality service.


Responsible for checking passengers in, delivering hold baggage to its final destination, cargo, providing and fuelling aircraft, boarding passengers, passenger safety and on-board catering.

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)

Controls all flight paths and aircraft routes at UK airports, and regulates airlines, airports and NATS air traffic services. The CAA also sets airport charges at the London airports.

Visit the CAA website

Airport Coordination Limited (ACL)

ACL is the appointed Coordinator for London Heathrow airport under EC Regulation 95/93. In line with the regulation ACL coordinates the airport in a neutral, non-discriminatory and transparent way and is the sole person responsible for the allocation of slots at the airport. A slot allocated by the Coordinator is a permission to use all the airport infrastructure (i.e. runway, aircraft parking stands and terminals).

Visit the ACL website

Commercial services

Individual businesses provide catering, shopping, car hire, car parking and banking services.

HM Revenue & Customs

Controls the import and export of goods, and prevents illegal activities such as drugs, tobacco and alcohol trafficking and trades in endangered species and child pornography.

Visit the HM Revenue & Customs website

UK Border Agency

Responsible for passport control and deciding who can enter the country. This service also deals with any deportation or asylum issues.

Visit the UK Border Agency website


Looks after air traffic control and management, ensuring aircraft flying in UK airspace and over the eastern part of the North Atlantic are safely separated.

Visit the NATS website

Public transport operators

Many independently run bus, coach, taxi and rail companies provide connections to and from our airports.

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Our history

Vintage propeller airplane undergoing maintenance

From humble beginnings, Heathrow grew to be a major world airport.

Heathrow's history
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