Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 4 – Europe’s most improved terminal - is today celebrating its silver jubilee, 25 years after it was opened by Diana Princess of Wales and Prince Charles of Wales in 1 April 1986.
More people use Terminal 4 than live in London (8.3 million last year) and since it opened 284.6 million passengers have flown through its gates.
Terminal 4 is significant because it serves the world’s most unusual and far-flung cities. It boasts 38 airlines flying to 53 destinations including Taipei, Baku and Mumbai. Building links to emerging markets has been highlighted by British chancellor George Osborne as a key priority for British businesses and thousands use Terminal 4 every day to fly to China, India and Africa.
As part of Heathrow’s £1 billion a year investment programme, Terminal 4 has been massively improved in recent years and was recently ranked Europe’s ‘most improved terminal’ in a survey of leading airports by Airports Council International (ACI).
Built at a cost of £200 million and located at the south east of the airport, more than £170 million is being invested in an extensive modernisation programme so that passengers enjoy a 21st century airport experience. A 6,000m2 extension has transformed check-in while work continues in Baggage Reclaim and Arrivals.
This upgrade has enabled the airport to demolish the 1950s Terminal 2 and replace it with a brand new £2.2bn complex set to open in 2014. When the old Terminal 2 closed, many airlines were relocated to T4 which meant that check-in, which previously served 12 airlines, needed to be remodelled so that it could serve more than 45.
Chris Butler, Terminal 4’s operations director, said: “Terminal 4 is a window to the world and the direct links it boasts to emerging markets will be even more vital to British businesses as we seek to grow our way out of recession. For leisure travellers and tourists, it is also one of the most diverse terminals in the world and we revel in the unique mix of faces and languages that pass through it every day.”