Monday, March 14, 2011

Pop History Moment: Queen Opens Heathrow's Terminal 5

More than half a century after she ceremonially laid the first paving stone (in 1953) and opened the first permanent terminal at London's Heathrow Airport (in 1955), Her Majesty The Queen toured its swanky new Terminal 5, which opened to passengers amid much chaos the following March 27th; the first flight to arrive at the cavernous, light-filled £4.3 billion structure hailed from Hong Kong.

PhotobucketIn addition to speeding up the bottleneck in security, streamlining baggage handling, and being more aesthetically pleasing, the new building features an array of posh shops - including Fortnum & Mason and Cartier.

First suggested in 1982, the new terminal will be occupied exclusively by British Airways, which will vacate its current premises in Terminals 1 and 4 as part of a sweeping reorganization of Europe's busiest airport. Terminal 5 will also be linked to the capital by its own rail and Tube connections.

Not everyone is ecstatic about the new terminal building, though; since its use will be reserved exclusively for British Airways, Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic for one will have to remain in the same dowdy quarters; similarly, environmentalists fear that its opening will pave the way for a third runway - and a commensurate rise in noise and other pollution in the vicinity. To read more, click here.

share on: facebook

No comments: