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Olympic athletes begin arriving at Heathrow ahead of London 2012

Olympic athletes begin arriving at Heathrow ahead of London 2012

London Heathrow is today expected to set a new record for passenger numbers as it welcomes athletes to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Today marks the start of the busy period for Olympic arrivals and Britain’s biggest peacetime transport challenge.

A total of 236,955 passengers are expected to travel through the airport on Monday, breaking the previous record of 233,562 set on July 31st 2011.

Throughout the day, Olympians will arrive from more than 50 countries.

To ensure that all passengers have a smooth journey and a great welcome to the Games extra staff and volunteers are working across the airport.

Some 335 athletes are expected today as part of 1,027 ‘games family’ arrivals.

The busiest day for arriving athletes is expected to be July 24th when 1,262 athletes and coaches are expected as part of 3,008 games related arrivals.

Nick Cole, head of Olympic planning at BAA, said:  “Today heralds the start of Britain’s biggest peacetime transport challenge and Heathrow’s busiest ever period.

“We are expecting more passengers to travel through Heathrow today than on any day in the airport’s history.

“We have spent seven years preparing for the Games’ challenge.

“Now we are putting that planning into action with thousands of extra staff and volunteers on hand to welcome the world to London.”