The construction of Terminal 2B at Heathrow Airport, a satellite building which will support the airport’s new Terminal 2, is nearing completion after an extensive multi-phased project.
Balfour Beatty won the £590 million contract of works which forms part of a £2 billion investment by Heathrow Airport Limited to replace the previous 1950s Terminal 2 building.
The project has seen the construction of Terminal 2B alongside the new main Terminal 2 at Heathrow, and will serve half of the 20 million passengers which pass through the airport each year.
Once completed Terminal 2B will deliver 16 new aircraft stands, nine of which will accommodate Airbus A380s. The building will also include a large underground basement containing an automated baggage handling system. A 300 metre long tunnel will also be constructed to connect passengers with the new main Terminal 2 building via travellator.
Phase One of the project was completed in November 2009 on time and on budget. Thanks to main contractor Balfour Beatty working ahead of schedule Heathrow was able to open three aircraft stands three months earlier than originally planned. Terminal Two also boasts an array of retail outlets and restaurants including Cath Kidston, London’s Pride by Fullers, Bottega Veneta, John Lewis and The Perfectionists’ Cafe by Heston Blumenthal, Michael Kors and The Gorgeous Kitchen.
Phase 2, which is due to complete in June this year, will provide a further 10 new aircraft gates. This phase has also incorporated the construction of an underground link from the satellite to the main building of the new Terminal 2 development and a large baggage facility in the basement which will be subject to fit-out in the future.
The project has been extensive; during the first phase the construction of the satellite pier included the largest diaphragm wall in Europe at the time, as well as the use of over 165,000 m3 of reinforced concrete. The amount of people onsite at any one time has also been impressive; Balfour Beatty employed approximately 1,600 people at the height of the project, working with over 100 sub-contractors and suppliers.
Steve Livingstone, Heathrow Airport Limited, Terminal 2 Development Director, said:
“We are in the middle of undertaking 180 tests involving 14,000 volunteers before we open the doors to our first passengers on the 4th June. The arrival of the first A380 aircraft on stand marks another milestone for us as we are getting ready to open the terminal to the 20 million passengers who will pass through its doors every year.”
John Keaveney, Balfour Beatty Director of Aviation, said:
“We are delighted to welcome the world’s largest passenger airplane to this wonderful facility that we have had the privilege to design and construct for Heathrow. We are working hard to continue operational testing of Terminal 2B ready for when it enters full service in June.”
Terminal 2 is set to be unveiled by an esteemed special visitor; on the 23rd June Her Majesty The Queen will to officially unveil the new facilities. The Queen previously opened the old Terminal 2 in 1955 and this building was sadly demolished after 54 years of service. By the time the terminal closed in 2009 it was handling 8 million passengers a year.