Fabian visits Heathrow Terminal 2

Fabian Hamilton visited the reconstruction of Heathrow Terminal 2 on the 30th January 2013. He was invited by Abigail Morris Parliamentary Liaison Officer who was formally Fabian's constituent as she lived in Leeds North East.

Fabian Hamiltion and Abigail Morris at the construction of Heatrow Terminal 2

The old Terminal 2 building was originally built in 1955 and is Heathrow's oldest terminal. It is being replaced because the British Airport Authority (BAA) want to make every journey better for all of their passengers and airlines. BAA also want to create a terminal matching the best in world standards. And are replacing the old and "out-of-date" Terminal 2 as part of a £4.8bn airport development programme. The old building had stood for over half a century before being closed down in November 2009.

There is not yet a precise opening date for Terminal 2 but it will welcome passengers near the beginning of 2014. On opening the new Terminal 2 will be home to STAR Alliance and Aer Lingus, as well as Virgin Atlantic's domestic routes. STAR Alliance members operating from Heathrow include: Aegean Air, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Swiss International Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, Thai Airways International, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways.

The new Terminal 2 will offer a much greater capacity at 20 million passengers annually. The Terminal it will replace was only designed to handle around 1.2 million people annually but in its final years of operation it often accommodated around 8 million passengers a year.

The re-construction of Heathrow Terminal 2

The reconstruction of Terminal 2 only makes a small contribution to the much larger problem of capacity at London's airports. Airport analysts argue that at least one extra runway is needed and London must retain its paramount importance as a hub for connections to all parts of the world.

Fabian Hamilton favours the third runway option to be built at Heathrow to handle the greater capacity because in his opinion the alternative options are much less effective. Expanding Gatwick and Stansted raises the same concerns as expanding Heathrow but in two areas instead of one. The third option is the Boris Island idea which is to build an airport-island off the coast of England in the Thames Estuary to handle the capacity and replace Heathrow. This option would require the building of transport links to the main land significantly raising costs.

Fabian favours the third runway option. Although aircrafts are loud and disturbing the technology is improving; engines are getting quieter and are now creating less pollution.

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