Today Heathrow Airport was in the spotlight for a reason other than its potential runway expansion, with the official ground breaking ceremony for two new hotels at Terminal 4.
The development, led by the Arora Group, will be made up of two adjoining hotels, the upscale Crown Plaza London and the Holiday Inn Express, providing a total of 750 rooms.
Once built, it will become the largest hotel development at the airport and will create up to 350 new jobs for people in the local community.
The Arora Group is working in partnership with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and in collaboration with LJ Group who were all on hand to turn the first sod. Also there to lend a hand was Sir Cliff Richard who donned a hi-vis, boots and helmet and grabbed a spade to mark the occasion.
Surinder Arora, founder and chairman of the Arora Group, said: “I am delighted to be here today to mark the official commencement of construction of our two new hotels, which will expand the footprint of the Arora Group at London Heathrow Airport from 1,434 bedrooms to 2,184 across five hotels.”
And it's not just the expansion of the Arora Group at Heathrow Airport that is the topic of conversation, so to is the potential expansion of the airport as a whole, with a decision due on a third runway being pushed back until winter 2017.
Mr Arora told GetWest London that expansion of the airport would be beneficial: "We need the expansion and I believe the government are now listening so I think it's good news".
A Cabinet decision on airport expansion is expected to come on Tuesday (October 25).
The hotels are due to open in 2018.