Heathrow to hit competitors in $4bn upgrade

Aim is to keep away the challenges of fast-growing rivals

London’s Heathrow airport is putting the finishing touches to a construction project worth $4 billion that aims to raise service standards and keep away the challenges of fast-growing rival airports. A new terminal, to be known as Terminal 2, is being built on the site of structures dating from the 1950s. There, Star Alliance airlines will be brought together under a single roof for the first time. The building opens for flights in 2014. The plan is also to stop passengers switching to less crowded airports.
“This will give us a big advantage relative to our hub competitors,” John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s development director, tells Bloomberg. “It’s going to be a massively better in the future, more like airports in the Far East, like Hong Kong.”
Bloomberg reports that features include “undulating ceilings to maximize height, a streamlined check-in zone with 56 self-service bag drops, and shorter walks to gates giving more time for shopping.”
The new Terminal 2 will have a capacity of 20 million passengers a year at first, but from 2016 it will then be extended to incorporate Terminal 1 to create a single structure handling 30 million people.
[image copyright Foster + Partners]

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