The latest stage in the London 2012 Olympic Games preparations was completed today with the handover of a temporary Games Terminal at Heathrow. The terminal is part of wide-ranging plans to ensure up to 10,000 athletes and officials enjoy a smooth transition through the airport.
The dedicated departure terminal, which has been paid for by Heathrow operators BAA to ensure the airport copes with the high volume of passengers expected airport immediately after the Games end, will operate for three days following the Closing Ceremony.
Aviation Minister Theresa Villiers, who attended the handover event, said:
“As the official airport of the Games, Heathrow will play a key part in the success of London 2012 and I have been impressed by this new Terminal which will give athletes their final impression of the country and the Games.
“I welcome the commitment, work and investment that has gone into preparing this dedicated Terminal for athletes and their officials to use as they travel home at the end of the Olympics.
“London 2012 will provide a real opportunity to boost jobs, business and tourism across the country and today shows how transport is ready to play its part.”
Games Terminal facts:
- The Games Terminal is the size of three Olympic swimming pools and contains 31 check-in desks and seven security lanes. No planes will be departing from the Games Terminal – buses will take the athletes from the Games Terminal to the relevant departure terminal.
- The baggage systems across all Heathrow’s terminals have been tested to make sure they can cope with the volume and kind of bags. Extra staff have been hired to help manage the increased numbers. There has been extra training and rehearsals for staff to make sure they know what to do, and when.
- The Games Terminal, which has been built on an existing car park, will be decommissioned immediately after the three days it will operate and returned to its former use.
- Around 7,000 Paralympic athletes and team officials will travel through Heathrow for the London 2012 Paralympic Games, many of whom will have complex needs. An extra 200 staff will work to help welcome Paralympians and assist them with their onward journeys. BAA has provided extra training for volunteers, staff and ground handlers on the safe way to handle and load and unload specialist wheelchairs
Notes for editors
1. Visit the Department for Transport website