Heathrow Airport’s new Terminal 2 is being officially opened today by Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh.
Terminal 2A and B, Terminal 5A, B, and C, a new control tower, and terminals 3 and 4 have all undergone extensive renovations as part of a $11 billion private sector investment that has completely altered Heathrow for travellers.
Over 1,000 people were planned to attend the inauguration ceremony including persons who were engaged in the construction of the building and those who worked in the new terminal with The Secretary of State for\sTransport, Patrick McLoughlin MP, scheduled to give a short presentation.
During the visit The Queen was due to meet the chairman, chief executive and development director of Heathrow Airport; the chief executives of the Star Alliance airlines; Luis Vidal, the lead and concept architect for Terminal 2; a group of prominent British retailers who have recently opened premises in the new terminal; Richard Wilson, the designer of the Slipstream art installation situated in the forecourt of the terminal; and various representatives of companies across the country who have been part of the construction team.
The original Terminal 2 was Heathrow’s first passenger terminal. When it was opened in 1955, by Her Majesty The Queen, it was the most advanced airport facility of its day with silver service restaurants, a cocktail bar and a rooftop viewing gallery. The Beatles, Marilyn Monroe, and Brigitte Bardot all arrived at the terminal in the years that followed. By the beginning of the 21st century Terminal 2 had outlived its purpose – built to welcome 1 million passengers, by the turn of the century it was straining under the weight of 8 million. To make room for a more contemporary terminal to take the place of Terminals 1 and 2, the old building was demolished in March 2008 when Terminal 5 opened.
United, Air Canada, ANA, and Air China have all moved into Terminal 2 since it opened on June 4th. Eventually it will be home to 26 airlines – 23 members of the Star Alliance as well as Aer Lingus, Germanwings and Virgin Atlantic Little Red. Over the following six months, airlines will begin using the new terminal in segments. Terminal 2 will have 332 daily flights to 54 global destinations when it is fully populated.
John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow development director and chief executive designate said: “Heathrow is delighted to welcome Her Majesty to open her new airport terminal. Today is a celebration of the outstanding work by many people and many organisations from around the country to construct a new front door for the UK.
An $11 billion private investment effort has resulted in a world-class hub airport for which the United Kingdom can be proud.