London Heathrow’s new terminal opens soon

The Queen’s Terminal opens for business on June 4

London’s Heathrow Airport officially opens its new terminal in exactly one week’s time. Terminal 2, also known as The Queen’s Terminal, opens for business on June 4.

The 2.5 billion pound (€3 billion) terminal will be home for 23 Star Alliance airlines plus Aer Lingus, Germanwings and Virgin Atlantic Little Red. It consists of a main building and the smaller satellite Terminal 2B connected by passenger tunnel, and will have a capacity of 20 million passengers a year.

Hoping to avoid the embarrassing glitches that surrounded the opening of Terminal 5 in March 2008, filling T2 will happen in phases. United Airlines will move all its Heathrow flights and operations there on opening day, while the other airlines move in over the coming six months.

One of the striking features in Arrivals is a 77-ton, 78-metre-long twisting aluminium sculpture called Slipstream, by British artist Richard Wilson. It is designed to give form to the flight path of a stunt plane. Wilson says he wanted “to transpose the thrill of the air-show to the architectural environment of the international air terminal.”

USA Today

[pictured: Slipstream by Richard Wilson, the longest public sculpture in Europe; photo courtesy Heathrow Airport]

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