Some two years ago the Club of Mainz Executive Committee endorsed a proposal to investigate the rescue and medical facilities at a selection of the world's airports. A number of members of the Club agreed to take part in a survey of a sample of airports in their own regions and some of these reports will be presented in this article. Three airports were studied in the United Kingdom — London Heathrow and Stansted — both civilian airports, and one military airport, Brize Norton, in Oxfordshire.
London Heathrow is one of the biggest international airports in the world, handling more airlines than any other. More than 25 million passengers a year pass through Heathrow and at peak periods there are up to 78 aircraft arrivals and departures per hour. More than 60,000 people are employed at Heathrow. A wide variety of planes are handled from Concorde and wide-bodied jets to small executive aircraft.
Stansted Airport is situated some 30 miles north of London and is also a standby airport for both Heathrow and London's second airport, Gatwick. At present only 500,000 passengers use the airport each year, but it has a capacity for four times this number and there are facilities for further expansion. Stansted is also the fourth biggest air cargo handler in Britain and caters to a complete range of aircraft.