Posted by: doorstoautomatic | April 23, 2010

2: Terminal

So, farewell then, Heathrow Terminal 2. Unbeknownst to Doors To Automatic, they’ve been aggressively demolishing LHR’s shittiest terminal for a few months now, but we got a pretty good update on progress (and a very bad camera phone shot of it) from across 09R in Terminal 4.

Rubbish photo of T2 demolition

They’re ripping down that semi-circular bit that joined T2 to T1 in this shot and have already made a pretty good job of taking apart the Queen’s Building and the arrivals/departures hall that was doing the turbine hall thing long before Tate Modern made it trendy. I bet the asbestos removal contractors of West London have never been so busy.

Don’t get me wrong, it needed pulling down, especially the check in area in the basement.

One thing I’ll regret never having seen is an entire basketball team trying to check in downstairs and having to duck so as not to scrape their heads on the 6 foot 6 headroom clearance.

T2 check in at World Cup time

It really was rubbish, that area, yet glorious in the way the BAA stuck all BA’s European carrier rivals in there, just to remind Fritz/Jean/Giovanni exactly whose patch they were on. That made it rather an adventurous terminal to use as a passenger. Stepping into T2, one felt one was already abroad.

New T2 with solar panelled roof

Progress in this case means a new, £1 billion, energy-efficient T2, divided up into T2A, B and C, like T5. Apparently the gates will extend into the old crosswind runway 23, which is a shame, as it will remove forever the possibility of turning 23 back into an active runway for short haul aircraft, solving LHR’s third runway problem at a stroke. It’s not beyond the wit of air traffic controllers to sequence 23 with a newly displaced threshold 27 left and right.

Anyway, it’s not going to happen. Actually, depending on how the election goes, perhaps neither will the third runway.



  1. You get some pretty good views of this from a walkway in Terminal 1. Took a flight recently to GVA on SWISS and you had to travel quite a long way to a new part of T1 with some rather smart gates. Although I thought perhaps these new gates would reveal themselves to be part of the finished T2. It was explained to me what BAA had planned at a T5 opening baggage drill, but sounded confusing and I forgot. Also why does that artists impression have a 100/200 747?

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