Work on a new terminal at Heathrow has been completed in time for the Olympic Games. The terminal has been designed exclusively for athletes and officials of the Games, the majority of whom will be returning during a three-day window from August 12 to August 15, in order to take the pressure off the airport and reduce passenger congestion.
Heathrow officials have claimed that they will need to deal with an extra 10,000 passengers during this period, and an extra 37,000 bags. The new temporary terminal will provide a means to divert the excess traffic.
The terminal has been constructed in a staff car park and will be taken down immediately after the Olympic rush has ended. It comprises 31 check-in desks and seven security lanes, and took five months to get up and running from the design stage.
No flights will leave from the terminal, but instead it will be used for check-in and security purposes. Once passengers have passed through the security they will then be taken by bus to their departure terminals. BAA says that it will take about 30 minutes for passengers to pass through.
Heathrow is planning for its busiest ever day on August 13 when officials are expecting to process a total of 138,000 passengers and over 200,000 bags.
Nick Cole from Heathrow said that the new terminal will mean that the other terminals will just feel “like a busy summer day” so that “passengers will receive their normal high levels of service”.