Heathrow has opened its temporary terminal to cope with the surge in passengers anticipated after the closing ceremony for the Olympics.
The temporary structure, which will cater for athletes and 2012 officials, will be used for the three days after the closing ceremony on 12 August.
It will have 31 check-in desks and seven security lanes to handle more than 10,000 athletes and 37,000 bags.
Nick Cole, head of Olympic operations at Heathrow revealed the terminal has opened in a bid to ensure that on August 13th, which is expected to be the businest day for Heathrow, “passengers using Terminals One, Three, Four and Five get their normal high levels of service.”
He explained: “The terminal has taken five months to build but its been planned for well over two years.
“On the 13th of August we anticipate to have our busiest day ever for departing passengers.
“If we get 10,000 athletes through this facility it means that everybody else in the other terminals will feel just like it’s a busy summer day here at Heathrow.”
He added: “We’ve also recruited a thousand volunteers from the local community to come and work with us at games time and that’s a legacy we hope to leave after the games itself.”
Aviation minister Theresa Villiers, said: “August 13 is expected to be the busiest day in the whole history of the airport. 10,000 athletes, coaches and support staff are going to be coming through this temporary terminal.
“Having this extra departure capacity is going to be very important in ensuring that Heathrow can cope with that huge volume of departing passengers over those few days after the closing ceremony.”
BAA added: “The games terminal special though it is only a part of what we’re doing. People will be working tirelessly in Terminals One, Three, Four and Five. On our air fields, on our roads, on our forecourts, in our baggage systems and down in the Athletes Village.
“They all have an equally important job to do. We here at team Heathrow are proud to play our small part in making sure that the London 2012 games are the greatest games ever.”