Heathrow’s Terminal 2 to Open June 4
Heathrow Airport announced that construction on Terminal 2, called the Queen’s Terminal, has been completed, and that the terminal will open for passenger traffic June 4.
The Queen’s Terminal cost £2.5 billion ($4.12 billion) to build and its construction took five years. Once in operation it will serve 25 airlines and 20 million passengers a year and will function as the hub for Star Alliance at London Heathrow. More than 300 daily flights using the terminal will serve more than 50 destinations worldwide.
Architect Luis Vidal sought to include appealing yet functional design and architectural elements to distinguish Terminal 2 from other terminals. Most noticeable is the undulating steel roof, which lets in a substantial amount of natural light and efficiently ventilates the area.
British Sculptor Richard Wilson designed an iconic art piece, entitled Slipstream, which hangs above the kiosks in the terminal. The 77-ton aluminum sculpture depicts the flight path of a Zivko Edge 540 stunt plane, and is suspended about 20 feet (6 meters) above the heads of travelers, extending 230 feet (70 meters) across four of the terminal’s supporting columns.
Spanning over 2.25 million square feet (210,000 square meters), the terminal houses 56 check-in counters, 66 check-in kiosks, and a 60 position fast bag-drop area, all leading to 17 bars and restaurants, 52 retail stores, and 24 boarding gates, 14 of which are located in a satellite terminal. Laid out linearly, the terminal is easy to navigate without the need for complex signage.
Constructed with environmental concerns in mind, 99% of the terminal was made with recycled materials from the old Terminal 2. In addition, the terminal will house composting and recycling facilities, will get 20% of its power from renewable sources (in part by the 10,764 square feet (1,000 square meters) of photovoltaic panels on its roof), and will produce 40% less carbon emission than required by law.
To ease the transition, airlines will be phased into the new terminal over the span of six months, starting with United Airlines on June 4 and followed by Air Canada, ANA, and Air China later in the month.
The old Terminal 2 was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth in 1955, and was designed to accommodate 1.2 million passengers a year. It closed after 54 years of service in 2009, at which point it was serving eight million passengers a year.