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Heathrow Terminal 2 tops out

Construction of Heathrow Airport’s new Terminal 2 passes a major construction milestone today with a topping out ceremony to mark the end of major structural work.

The new terminal will handle 20 million passengers a year and be the home of the Star Alliance group of airlines when it opens in 2014.

The project is the latest stage in a five-year, £4.8bn transformation of Heathrow which began after the opening of the £4.3bn Terminal 5 in 2008.

When the Ferrovial-led consortium bought BAA in 2006, Heathrow was rated as one of the worst major airports in Europe, with just 41% of passengers describing their experience at the airport as either excellent or very good. Now, after the opening of Terminal 5 and the refurbishment of Terminals 1, 3 and 4, 70% of passengers at the airport now rate their experience as excellent or very good.

To minimise disruption to passengers, construction of Terminal 2 is taking place in two phases. The first £2.5bn phase will see the creation of the main terminal on the site of the old Terminal 2 and Queen’s Building. This work is being carried out by a Ferrovial/Laing O’Rourke joint venture. It also involves the construction of a satellite terminal with additional aircraft parking stands and passenger gates called Terminal 2B. Thsi work is being carried out by Balfour Beatty. The first phase is due to open to passengers in 2014.

The £4.5bn phase two will extend the main Terminal 2 building northwards onto the existing Terminal 1 site. This phase, which will also include the construction of a second satellite building, T2C, will increase the capacity of Terminal 2 from 20 million passengers a year to 30 million passengers a year. It will complete in 2019. Terminal 1 will close once phase 2 is complete.

To enable the airport to continue functioning whilst construction is underway, much of the infrastructure for T2 is being built at factories around the UK and then brought to Heathrow for assembly on site. Cover for the terminal’s roof is from Kalzip’s Merseyside factory, while the steelwork was manufactured as part of a £48M contract with Watson Steel at their factories in Thirsk, Yorkshire and Bolton, Lancashire. The terminal’s mechanical and electrical modules are being developed by CHt Manufacturing in Wolverhampton, and major structural components including bridge beams for the terminal’s multi-storey car park will be precast at Laing O’Rourke’s Explore Industrial Park in Steetley near Worksop.

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