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Amazing London Heathrow Airport Featured

18 October 2009
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Amazing London Heathrow T5 Airport

London Heathrow Airport or Heathrow, located in the London Borough of Hillingdon, is the world's busiest airport in terms of international passenger traffic. It is the world's second busiest airport in total passenger traffic. Heathrow is owned and operated by BAA, which also owns and operates six other UK airports. Heathrow Airport is used by over 90 airlines which fly to 170 destinations worldwide. The airport is the primary hub of British Airways, BMI and Virgin Atlantic.

TERMINAL 5 was designed by the Rogers, Stirk Harbour & Partners, T5 marks the start of a new era for Heathrow and for passengers using the airport. T5 is the biggest free standing building in the UK. The building is 40m high, 396m long and 176m wide. The single span wave roof held up by 22 huge steel legs and nodes, not only creates a great, light, open and airy space, but provides a distinctive architectural feature and fantastic views of the airfield. To add to the overall ambient environment, the lighting inside the terminal building can be programmed to different settings according to season, time of day and weather conditions.Located 12 NM (22 km; 14 mi) west of Central London, Heathrow originally was designed to have six runways in three pairs spaced approximately 120 degrees apart but now has just two parallel main runways running east-west and five terminals. The site covers 12.14 square kilometres (4.69 sq mi). Terminal 5 was officially opened by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II on 14 March 2008 and opened to passengers on 27 March 2008. Construction of Heathrow East, to replace Terminal 2 and The Queen's Building, began in 2009, and is expected to be completed by early 2014. Terminals 3 and 4 will also be refurbished during this period.T5 is designed to perfectly combine functionality with aesthetics. The passenger experience and journey through the buildings have been at the forefront of design, while consideration has also been given to architectural merit, environmental issues and maintainability.

The facades are fully glazed with over 30,000sq metres of glass or 5,500 glass panels. The facades lean out at an angle of 6.5 degrees, giving the building its distinct shape. The glass itself is coated with a film which controls the amount of sunlight entering the building. To further manage the temperature of the interior brise soleil panels have been fitted to the exterior. These are fixed aluminium louvres that act like sun shades, deflecting glare.There is a rail station nearby. The station houses 6 platforms, two for the Heathrow Express, two for LU Piccadilly Line and two which are built and safeguarded in advance of a scheme to link Heathrow by rail to the West (AirTrack, a scheme under consideration would connect to the west with the main line at Staines.) The station is covered by a transparent roof (made from ETFE like the Eden Project biomes) which enable natural light to flood down onto the ends of the platforms. Five 50-person lifts will transport passengers straight up to the departures hall.After T5 the next big project will be Heathrow East for which BAA has been given planning permission. Heathrow East is not about new capacity, it will replace Terminals 1 and 2. By 2012 almost the entire airport will be either re-built, refurbished or redesigned. A £6bn investment plan will deliver world class facilities which passengers expect including more space for security and improved environmental performance.

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