Half a century ago, Heathrow Terminal 1 opened as the most advanced aviation facility in the world. Later this month, the innards of the obsolete terminal will go on sale: the final indignity for a building which saw its last flight depart on 29 June 2015.
The auctioneer CA Global Partners has announced that “Heathrow Airport, Complete Contents of Terminal 1” will go under the hammer on 21 April 2018 at the Thistle London Heathrow Terminal 5 Hotel.
At the auction, 11 baggage carousels, 4,000 seats and 110 check-in desks will go on sale, along with smaller items of airport memorabilia such as signage and original 1950s and 60s works of art.
Escalators, air bridges and security cameras will also be available for aviation collectors or airport builders.
Terminal 1 was built as the home of British European Airways, which merged with BOAC in 1973 to form British Airways. It is newer than the original Terminal 2 (previously known as the Europa Terminal) and Terminal 3 (formerly Oceanic). It was initially used for domestic and short-haul flights, but in the 21st century handled some intercontinental flights.
In 1975, the BA Shuttle to Glasgow was launched as Europe's first walk on, no-reservation, guaranteed seat service. Passengers could buy tickets on board from cabin crew.
Before Concorde was grounded in 2003, sightseeing trips on the supersonic plane departed from Terminal 1.
In the 1990s, an awkward extension was added to the terminal: a long elevated corridor to a distant pier from which flights to Ireland departed.
At its peak, Terminal 1 handled nine million passengers a year.
But after the redevelopment of Terminal 2 it was surplus to requirements.
At the time of its shutdown, Heathrow Airport said: “The Terminal closure will make way for improved service and way finding around the airport and eventually an extension of the new Terminal 2 will take its place.”
Jamie Bowden, an aviation consultant who worked as customer service manager for British Airways at Terminal 1, will not be attending the auction.
He told The Independent: “Considering the departure queues and baggage belt breakdowns I had to contend with, I think I don’t want to be reminded.”
Airline bosses have called for competition between terminals at Heathrow, if and when a third runway is built.
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