As part of its plans for coping with a massive influx of visitors for the 2012 London Olympic Games, Heathrow Airport has opened a temporary terminal that has been specifically built for the occasion.
The temporary structure, which is designed to speed the flow of Olympic officials and competitors for the three days after the games end on August 12, has been built on the site of a staff car park. During its three days of operation it is likely to process in excess of ten thousand individual competitors, and their 37,000 items of luggage.
Theresa Villiers attended the opening of the terminal in her capacity as transport minister, and she commented, ‘August 13 is expected to be the busiest day in the whole history of the airport. 10,000 athletes, coaches and support staff are going to be coming through this temporary terminal. Having this extra departure capacity is going to be very important in ensuring that Heathrow can cope with that huge volume of departing passengers over those few days after the closing ceremony.’
According to Nick Cole, Heathrow’s head of operations for the Olympic Games, the temporary terminal has been constructed as much to guarantee normal service levels to regular users of the airport’s terminals one, three four and five during the period, as to speed the movement of Olympic traffic. He said, ‘If we do this and we get 10,000 athletes through this facility, it means that everybody else in the other terminals will feel just like it’s a busy summer day here at Heathrow.’