Future proof Heathrow Terminal 2B saw first aircraft dock this month

Heathrow Terminal 2B

On 4 June a United Airlines plane was the first to dock at Heathrow Airport’s completed Terminal 2B. The project is the largest airside construction scheme carried out at the airport, measuring half a kilometre in length and is the latest addition to the toast rack of terminals and piers designed to increase Heathrow’s capacity. Along with T2A which is currently under construction, the new £2bn T2 facilities can handle an extra 20M passengers a year.

As a sign of Heathrow’s confidence in its future, T2B is something of an iceberg, with much of the £590M investment going into vast underground spaces for future baggage handling schemes and a light rail track transit system to a T2C not scheduled to be built for at least five years. To put the scale of the future proofing in context, the basement under the main T2B pier is 360m long, 60m wide and 15m deep.

Contractor for the project Balfour Beatty built the design and build job over five years. Phase one of the terminal opened in two stages through 2009 and 2010 providing six new aircraft stands and enabling the 20ha site to be released for T2B.

Phase two’s opening has added another 10 stands plus associated retail space, passenger lounges and departure and arrival facilities.  Ten of the 16 stands can accommodate the giant Airbus 380s and on its own T2B will serve over 10M long haul and departing passengers – more than Glasgow Airport.

Architect was Grimshaw, structural designer was Mott MacDonald and M&E consultant was Parsons Brinckerhoff.

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