The UK’s London Heathrow Airport opened its newly redeveloped Terminal 2 in June 2014, marking the completion of an £11bn ($13.4bn) investment programme initiated in 2003. The programme aimed at the modernisation and expansion of the airport that has been in operation since 1955.

The original Terminal 2, Heathrow’s oldest passenger terminal, was closed in November 2009 and demolished a year later to make way for the construction of a future-ready terminal in its place.

“Heathrow’s oldest passenger terminal, the original Terminal 2 was closed in November 2009 and demolished a year later to make way for the construction of a future-ready terminal in its place.”

The construction of the £2.5bn ($4.1bn) new terminal project was completed in November 2013. The new Terminal 2, named as the Queen’s Terminal, underwent operational tests and trials before it was opened to the public.

The new terminal houses 26 airlines and is expected to witness approximately ten million passengers a year by 2015 and 17 million by 2019.

Details of Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 project

The new Terminal 2 located in the heart of the London Heathrow airport involved the construction of a five-storey main terminal building named Terminal 2A, a 522m-long satellite pier named Terminal 2B running parallel to the main building, a four-storey car park facility for 1,300 vehicles, and development of new approach roads and forecourt lanes.

Terminal 2A has 12 boarding gates and ten aircraft stands, including two flexible stands capable of taking two small aircraft, whereas 14 boarding gates and 14 aircraft stands are present in the Terminal 2B. The terminals 2A and 2B are connected by a passenger underground tunnel. The passengers enter the terminal’s central courtyard located between the car park and the main building via lifts and escalators.

The Queen’s Terminal will be opened in a phased manner with total 26 airlines scheduled to move into the terminal over a period of six months. The operating airlines in the new terminal include 23 Star Alliance member airlines, Aer Lingus, the national airline of Ireland, Lufthansa Group’s German budget airline Germanwings, and the Virgin Atlantic Little Red airline.

Facilities at the Queen’s terminal

The new Terminal 2 at Heathrow airport offers different check-in options for the passengers. It features 66 self-service kiosks where the passengers can check-in for their flight by printing their boarding cards and bag tags before moving to the bag drop.

The terminal also has 56 traditional check-in desks. There are 60 fast bag drop facilities at the terminal. Security checking is done at four fast track lanes and 17 regular lanes.

The new terminal has two departure lounges including the main departure lounge split into two levels in Terminal 2A and a smaller departure lounge in Terminal 2B with all passengers having access to either of the lounges. The departure lounges and the waiting areas in the terminal are designed as airy spaces filled with natural light. The terminal also features 62 shops and restaurants.

The terminal houses two baggage reclaim halls- one for the arriving domestic passengers and the other for the international passengers. The international hall has eight reclaim belts while the domestic hall has two reclaim belts.

“The new terminal is expected to witness a daily average of 55,000 passengers.”

The new terminal, when fully open, is expected to witness a daily average of 55,000 passengers. It will create approximately 25,000 direct or indirect job opportunities including about 500 security officers, 30 passenger service ambassadors and 70 service team leaders.

Details of Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 project

Terminal 2 is located in the heart of the London Heathrow Airport, between Terminals 1 and 3. The redevelopment involved the construction of a five-storey main terminal building named Terminal 2A, a 522m-long satellite pier named Terminal 2B running parallel to the main building, and a four-storey car park facility for 1,300 vehicles.

Terminal 2A has 12 boarding gates and ten aircraft stands, including two flexible stands capable of taking two small aircraft, whereas 14 boarding gates and 14 aircraft stands are present in the Terminal 2B. Terminals 2A and 2B are connected by an underground passenger tunnel. The passengers enter the terminal’s central courtyard located between the car park and the main building via lifts and escalators.

The operating airlines in the new terminal include 23 Star Alliance member airlines, Aer Lingus, the national airline of Ireland, Lufthansa Group’s German budget airline Germanwings, and the Virgin Atlantic Little Red airline. An additional 26 airlines are to move into the Queen’s terminal over a six-month period.

Facilities at the Queen’s terminal

The Terminal 2 is spread over a 40,000m² area and it offers different check-in options for the passengers. It features 66 self-service kiosks where the passengers can check-in for their flight by printing their boarding cards and bag tags before moving to the bag drop. The terminal also has 60 check-in desks and 60 fast bag-drop facilities at the terminal. Security checking is done at four fast-track lanes and 17 regular lanes. The terminal also has 36 immigration lanes and ten e-gates.

The new terminal has two departure lounges, including the main departure lounge split into two levels in Terminal 2A and a smaller departure lounge in Terminal 2B with all passengers having access to either of the lounges. The departure lounges and the waiting areas in the terminal are designed as airy spaces filled with natural light. It also has one personal shopping lounge, as well as 62 shops and restaurants.

The terminal houses two baggage reclaim halls, one for the arriving domestic passengers and the other for the international passengers. The international hall has eight reclaim belts while the domestic hall has two reclaim belts.

The new terminal is designed to handle 20 million passengers per annum and is expected to witness a daily average of 55,000 passengers. It created approximately 25,000 jobs, including 500 security officers, 30 passenger service ambassadors and 70 service team leaders.

Heathrow Airport’s new Terminal 2 design

The special attraction at the new terminal is a huge monumental sculpture called Slipstream, which is suspended between two passenger walkways and covering the entire length of the central courtyard. The aluminium artwork created by the renowned UK artist Richard Wilson is inspired by an imagined flight path of a stunt plane. At 70m in length and 77t in weight, Slipstream will be the longest permanent sculpture in Europe.

Another design highlight of the new terminal is the 54,000m2 wave-like roof reflecting three stages (check-in, security and departures lounge) that a passenger goes through before taking the flight. The wavy roof structure dips as the passenger completes one stage and then rises as they proceed to the next.

Sustainable features of the new terminal

Widely acclaimed as Heathrow’s most sustainable terminal yet, the redeveloped Terminal 2 received numerous awards, including the Sustainability Leaders Award in November 2013.

The majority of material obtained from the old Terminal 2 demolition was either recycled or reused.

The new terminal is also claimed to contribute 40.5% less carbon dioxide emissions than a comparable building built in compliance with the UK’s 2006 building regulations. The closeness of the terminal to runways and taxiways, in addition to the special layout of the aircraft stands, are aimed at significantly reducing ground-level emissions. It also allows for the operation of larger and fuel-efficient aircraft such as A380.

Other energy-saving features of the terminal include an elaborate scheme of skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows to maximise the flow of natural glare-free light, glazed façades with solar controlled glass and angled louvres to prevent heat gain, and water-efficient fittings to minimise potable water use.

The terminal relies on renewable sources for 20% of its energy needs. Apart from using 1,000m² of photovoltaic panels on its canopy, the new terminal has a wood-fired combined heat and power-generating facility comprised highly efficient gas boilers and a cooling centre.

Terminal 2 is anticipated to be the world’s first airport terminal to receive the prestigious BREEAM1 certification.

Contractors involved

Luis Vidal + Architects (LVA) were the lead architect for the new terminal. The initial design, however, was provided by Foster + Partners. LVA collaborated with Pascall + Watson during the outfit phase of the project.

HETCo, a joint venture between Ferrovial Agroman and Laing O’Rourke, was awarded a contract in 2008 to demolish the old terminal and build the new main terminal building, including the aircraft stands and cooling station.

The satellite pier, as well as the underground tunnels connecting the main terminal building, was built by Balfour Beatty.

Laing O’Rourke was awarded the contract to build the multi-storey car park, as well as the associated approach roads.

Mace and Siemens are the baggage system contractors. Design and installation of the instrumentation and control systems were completed by Fujitsu, Tyco, Firstco, BT and Mott MacDonald.

Kone was awarded a contract to supply 18 escalators, 12 auto-walks and 40 elevators for the Terminal 2 project in September 2011.