Queen Elizabeth II is to officially open Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 building today, Monday, June 23.
The new Terminal is also to be known as The Queen’s Terminal in honour of the UK’s monarch. During her visit today, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, she will have a tour of the £2.5bn building and unveil a commemorative plaque.
The previous Terminal 2 building was also opened by the Queen in 1955, and had been the oldest building on the site. It was originally built to handle 1.2 million passengers per annum, but when it closed in 2009 it had regularly been handling 8 million per year. Its demolition made way for the new terminal 2 building that is capable of handling 20 million passengers per annum.
Five years in construction, the new terminal will accommodate 23 Star Alliance airlines, as well as Aer Lingus, Virgin Atlantic’s Little Red and Germanwings. The building is connected to transport links by a covered court, and the main building benefits from ample natural light thanks to its three-wave, steel frame roof.
Prior to its opening, the terminal has undergone a rigorous six months of testing that involved 14,000 volunteers in 180 trial scenarios, including the processing of 4,000 bags per hour. The facility boasts 28 gates, eight piers for the Airbus A380, 33 shops, 17 restaurants, 36 immigration lanes, 10 e-gates, 29 security lanes, 634 toilets, 1,340 car parking spaces, 60 check-in kiosks and 66 self-service kiosks.
99 percent of materials from the old Terminal 2 were recycled or reused.