London

Heathrow celebrates 70 years by marking 'iconic moments'

Heathrow, one of the world's busiest airports, is celebrating 70 years.

Since the airport opened to commercial flights on 31 May 1946, more than 20 million flights have taken off, taking two billion passengers around the world.

New York, Dublin and Dubai have been the most commonly visited cities from the airport.

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Image caption The west London hub has seen some "iconic moments in British culture", and actress Joanna Lumley will unveil a series of plaques to mark these moments from the past seven decades, including this one of The Beatles returning to screaming fans after a successful US tour in 1964
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Image caption A British Airways Concorde takes off from Heathrow Airport on 26 July 2000 - less than 24 hours after one of the supersonic aircraft crashed in Paris killing 113 people. BA took the decision to go ahead with the flight to New York after carrying out extensive checks overnight on its fleet
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Image caption British Airways Concorde made its inaugural flight from Heathrow Airport on 21 January 1976
Image caption US pop star Madonna arrives at Heathrow for her tour of Britain in 1987
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Image caption Before 1946, the site was used for test flights as well as the military. It is currently competing with Gatwick Airport to expand by having a third runway. Earlier this month, Gatwick celebrated its 80th year
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Image caption In 1952 the former Princess Elizabeth stepped onto UK soil for the first time as monarch, at Heathrow. Her father, King George VI, had died while she was touring Kenya. Here she is pictured at the airport in the 1970s.
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Image caption The England rugby team arrived at Heathrow after winning the World Cup in 2003. They beat Australia by 20 points to 17 thanks to a dropped goal in the final minute of extra time by Jonny Wilkinson

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