HEATHROW TERMINAL Five is gearing up again for detailed design.
BAA project director Norman Haste has issued instructions to contractors and consultants on the project to begin restaffing. He aims to have a full 250-strong design team in place by next spring.
'If we get the right outcome from the public inquiry, we need to be ready to commence construction as fast as possible,' said Haste. The design investment risk was worth taking, he added.
BAA put T5 design on hold just under a year ago (NCE 29 October 1998). Half the design team was cut from the £1.8bn project, leaving a core to finalise the architecture. Now Laing, Mott MacDonald, Brown & Root, Ove Arup and M&E specialist DSSR are preparing to get on with the engineering design.
Designers will be working together at Langford House on Heathrow Airport's Bath Road. Key suppliers will also be brought into the team, Haste said.
BAA insists that Heathrow urgently needs a new terminal to cope with enormous projections in air traffic growth and to take the pressure off existing overcrowded terminals. It maintains that without the development it risks losing traffic to expanding European airports.
The earliest start date for T5 construction is 'sometime' in 2002 ahead of an opening date four or five years later. This assumes a Government decision 'anytime between April and September next year'.