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Fewer passengers taking to the skies through Heathrow airport

The slowdown in the skies continued at Heathrow last month, when passenger numbers dropped to 5.2 million, 0.5 per cent fewer than the same time a year ago.

Britain's biggest airport saw record numbers during July, August and September.

But last month, a decline in domestic passengers — 12.3 per cent year-on-year — meant that the number of travellers was down even after the impact of the Border Agency strike was taken into account.

Owner BAA said this "reflected the UK regions being progressively cut off from the UK's only hub airport by a lack of capacity at Heathrow".

Stansted, which BAA is selling to comply with a Competition Commission ruling, saw a 7.5 per cent slump in passengers last month, the company said.