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Site Tour of London Heathrow's new Terminal 2 Building

Heathrow Terminal 2 2   CopyOn Friday 10th January 2014, WTS London members had the privilege to visit the newly constructed Terminal 2 building at Heathrow Airport that is due to open on the 4th June.Our picture gallery showcases some of the key highlights from our visit.

Prior to the walking tour, Head of Corporate Affairs, Clare Harbord, provided our members with a fascinating insight into the operations and future plans for Heathrow.

Heathrow’s two runways currently operate at 150 per cent capacity with a plane landing every 45 seconds. The airport caters for 476,000 flights each year serving 171 destinations in 90 countries with 69 million passengers a year travelling through it.

There's no argument that as the UK's hub airport Heathrow provides essential infrastructure for UK plc; however it is working at capacity. Two runways can handle 480,000 flights while Europe’s other hub airports have up to six runways (doubling their capacity) and representing a significant competitive threat to Heathrow.

No new runways have been built in the UK since World War II. Future airport capacity has been widely and publicly debated over the past year. The Davies Commission supports the provision of one net additional runway by 2030 for the UK and is currently appraising three short listed options, further assessing the case for a new airport in the Thames estuary, and delivering a robust final recommendation to government in summer 2015. The three short listed options are a second runway at Gatwick, an additional northwest runway at Heathrow and the Heathrow Hub plan.

Heathrow Terminal2 overviewThe impact on the environment, in particular noise issues, are clearly challenges to the construction of any new runway. Heathrow’s preferred option is the northwest runway and the airport believes that existing transport infrastructure combined with the further connections provided by Crossrail and Western rail access by 2022 will make Heathrow a sustainable option for the future. Their analysis predicts that there will be 10 – 20 per cent fewer silos within noise footprint by 2030 even with a third runway.

Significant improvements have been made at Heathrow in recent years with £1bn a year invested in growth - all privately funded. Terminal 2 is the second biggest job site and the largest privately funded construction project in the UK. The construction has created 35,000 jobs and has a supply chain across the UK. There are 25,000 staff from airlines and handlers to retailers being trained to work at the terminal when it opens.

The walking tour was led by Neil Porter and Abigail Morris. As we journeyed through the Terminal the focus on passenger experience was clear. Intuitive wayfinding, innovative design, clever features and open spaces make the journey through the Terminal impressive even before seeing the exciting retail space that will include exclusive UK brands and new concept stores as well as the first John Lewis to open in an airport. Natural light and space is a key feature of Terminal 2 created by north facing roof lights through which daylight floods in.

WTS Members at Heathrow Terminal 2WTS London would like to thank Heathrow Airport for the opportunity for this behind the scenes tour of Terminal 2. It was a fascinating insight into Heathrow and the terminal is a truly impressive feat of engineering with the passenger at its heart.

We have an exciting programme of events for 2014 and look forward to seeing our members and supporters at our Winter Reception on 26th February discussing the future of airport capacity.  To register click here

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