Heathrow has welcomed transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin to witness the testing of Terminal 2’s baggage system, one of 182 trials that Heathrow Airport is undertaking to prepare the terminal for opening on June 4th 2014.
The secretary of state was taken on a tour of the new £2.5 billion facility by Heathrow’s chairman, Nigel Rudd.
McLoughlin saw bags being successfully put through the recently delivered system and then arriving on the new carousel in the baggage hall.
Heathrow will be seeking to avoid a repeat of the opening of Terminal 5 in 2009 which saw thousands of passengers delayed as baggage systems broke down.
Speaking at the terminal McLoughlin said: “Terminal 2 represents a massive investment in Heathrow and in our national airports infrastructure, benefitting the thousands of passengers who will pass through it every day as well as helping the UK stay competitive.
“I was impressed to see the huge amount of work being done to make sure Terminal 2 is thoroughly prepared to welcome its first travellers next year.”
Every night between 2,500 and 4,000 bags are put through the baggage system.
With a year to go until the terminal opens Heathrow is testing and trialling all aspects of the new terminal including check-in, air bridges, numerous processes and systems and eventually end-to-end passenger trials.
The baggage system testing is one of the first trials to be undertaken at Terminal 2.
The terminal will open in phases, with the 26 airlines moving in over a period of six months.
Just ten per cent of flights will operate for the first three weeks of June before gradually building up to full operations.