A 4.4% rise in December throughput helped Heathrow achieve a record of 76 million passengers in 2016.
The London hub handled more than 6.1 million travellers in the final month of the year with emerging markets in the Middle East and Asia leading the growth.
Annual passenger numbers handled by Heathrow grew by 1% over 2015 while aircraft movements were up by 0.2% to 473,231.
However, domestic passenger numbers fell by 9.6% to 4.6 million in 2016 while key routes to North America saw a decline of 0.5% to 17.1 million and those using Africa routes dropped by 4.1% to 3.1 million.
The figures come ahead of the government starting to consult on a national policy statement early this year after supporting a third runway at Heathrow.
Airport chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “Heathrow celebrated 70 years as the country’s front door in 2016 and I’m proud that we were able to end this year on such a high note.
“Whether it was welcoming back a triumphant Team GB from Rio or giving that special Heathrow service to a record number of passengers, increasing Britain’s trade with the rest of the world or securing government support for expansion – Heathrow is Britain’s airport and we will continue to help all of our country thrive for decades to come.”
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