THE GRAND opening of Heathrow's new-look Terminal 2 is now only one year away.
The £2.5 billion mammoth project will open its doors to the first wave of passengers on June 4, 2014, with the first aircraft, a United Airlines flight from Chicago, scheduled to land at 5.55am.
The main building is due for completion in November, and will be followed by six months testing including 182 trials and 14,000 people.
John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow development director, said: “The new Terminal 2 has been designed around the needs of our passengers, to allow them to get to and from their flights as quickly as possible.
“This next step in Heathrow's transformation will deliver a better journey for passengers, a more efficient and reliable infrastructure for airlines and additional jobs, trade and economic growth for the UK.”
The project includes the main T2 building, a 522-metre satellite pier (T2B), a 1,340 space car park and an energy centre and cooling station for improved sustainability.
As one of the largest privately funded construction projects in the UK it will have supported 35,000 jobs across the country, and by the time the terminal opens 25,000 staff, many from surrounding boroughs, will be trained to work at T2 from airline staff and retailers to cleaners and delivery drivers.
Once opened, the terminal will be home to 23 Star Alliance airlines, as well as Aer Lingus, Virgin Atlantic Little Red (domestic services) and germanwings carriers, eventually serving 20 million passengers a year
Mark Schwab, CEO Star Alliance added: “It is only logical that we actively participate in the Terminal 2 project which will become our home at Heathrow. We look forward to moving into this purpose built facility in a year’s time, ringing in a new era for our customers, member carriers and employees.”
A phased opening will see the 26 carriers move in over a six month period, with 10 per cent of flights operating for the first three weeks of June, before gradually building up to full operations.
Among the perks will be dedicated family lanes for families, a 'find your car' service for business travellers and personal shoppers for leisure passengers.
Speaking at the terminal, commercial secretary to the treasury, Lord Deighton said: “The excellent work here reflects best practice in infrastructure delivery, progressing on time and to budget, working collaboratively with its suppliers. This is a great example of successful project management and delivery in the UK and exactly the kind of work Government is supporting through the Cost Review and other initiatives designed to help companies do their bit to give the UK the infrastructure we need to compete in a global market.”
The old Terminal 2 was opened in 1955 closing its doors after 54 years of service in 2009, before demolition began the following year.
It was Heathrow’s first terminal, originally called the ‘Europa Building’ before it was renamed Terminal 2 when Terminal 1 opened in 1969.