Passengers using Heathrow airport have been assured that there will be no repeat of the Terminal 5 debacle when the latest project, the “Queen’s Terminal,” opens in June.
John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s development director, told The Independent that the movement of airlines into the £2.3 billion Terminal 2 would be staggered: “Allowing three weeks between each of the airline moves allows us to learn the lessons from the first move before the second.”
When Terminal 5 opened in 2008, British Airways sought to move most of its services to the new facility from day one. But the operation quickly unravelled, leading to the cancellation of hundreds of flights.
The first flight to arrive at the £2.3bn replacement for Terminal 2 will be United Airlines 958, due in from Chicago at 5.55am on 4 June. United’s operations at Heathrow, currently using two other terminals, will be centralised.
The airline will be joined in Terminal 2 by 22 other members of the Star Alliance, as well as Aer Lingus and Virgin Atlantic’s “Little Red” domestic services.
The moves will be complete by the end of the year, whereupon work will begin on Terminals 1 and 3 – both of which will eventually be subsumed into Terminal 2.
Mr Holland-Kaye said: “We will be unique among the main airports in Europe in completely rebuilding our terminals.”
When the final phase is completed, the terminals are likely to be renumbered. It is thought that Terminal 5 will change to 1, with 4 becoming 3. Terminal 2, which used to be Terminal 1, will remain as it is.