UK’s Heathrow Airport is set to shut down its 47-year-old Terminal 1 after shifting majority of airlines to the newer terminals that offer better facilities.

Opened by Queen Elizabeth II in May 1968, the terminal had a capacity of handling approximately nine million passengers at full capacity.

In the last few weeks, the terminal saw only 17 flights and handled approximately 1,700 passengers per day as its use was slowly being phased out.

Since 2003, the airport has invested around £11bn on modernisation that has led to the construction of Terminal 5 A, B and C, a new control tower, a complete refurbishment of Terminals 3 and 4 and the new Terminal 2A and B.

"The closure of Terminal 1 marks another important milestone in the transformation of Heathrow."

Currently, most of the commercial flights operate from Terminal 2 and this will enable passengers to experience modern facilities and services that are offered on the newer terminals.

According to the airport, the closure of the terminal will help to improve its service and allow for the extension of Terminal 2.

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The move is also expected to enable the widening of the taxiways on the north side of the airfield for accommodating A380s and to improve punctuality along with the installation of a new hold baggage screening.

Speaking about the closure, Heathrow CEO John Holland Kaye said: "The closure of Terminal 1 marks another important milestone in the transformation of Heathrow.

"Terminal 1 has served Britain well for nearly 50 years, but will soon make way for the expansion of Terminal 2, giving Britain a world class airport that we can all be proud of."

If the airport gets the government’s approval for the construction of a third runway, Terminal 2 will be extended further.

Image: Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 1 had a capacity of handling nine million passengers at full capacity. Photo: courtesy of Heathrow Airport.