Queen Elizabeth inaugurated Terminal 1 in May 1969. Terminal 1 served as a base for the domestic network of British Airways from Heathrow to long distance destinations until Terminal 5 commenced its operation. With the area of 803, 000 sq ft, the renovation of terminal 1 in 2005 witnessed the expansion of the departure lounge in the new eastern extension. Also, additional space for seating and retail shops were expanded. Terminal 1 is a home to Aer Lingus and several other airlines as well.
Terminal 2 is considered as Heathrow’s oldest terminal which was opened in 1955. Initially, the terminal was designed with a plan of handling 1.2 million passengers annually. However, with the increasing rate of passengers touching a base of around 8 million, the building of Terminal 2 became ricketier and was finally demolished with the plans of rebuilding the site with a larger area equal in size of Terminal 5.
Earlier known as the Oceanic Terminal, it was opened on the 13 November 1961. During the initial phase, there was a direct helicopter service to Central London with a helipad on the roof of the terminal building. It was later rechristened as Terminal 3 in 1968 and had an expansion in 1970 with the construction of the arrivals building. In 2006, Pier 6 was developed at a cost of £105 million to provide space for Airbus A380 Superjumbo. A new four lane drop-off area and a large walker path with a canopy to the terminal was constructed in 2007 to make the passengers feel more comfortable.
This terminal is undergoing a rapid development with accordance to the increasing rate of passengers. Stretching out to an area of 1,140, 200 sq ft, it is a home for the Sky Team alliance and a few other unaffiliated carriers as well. Opened in 1986, it is exactly located next to the cargo terminal and is connected to other terminals through the Cargo tunnel. A whopping amount of £200m was invested to provide base for 45 airlines along with a forecourt to manage the traffic congestion. Extended check-in area, renovated piers, departure lounges and a new baggage system are the latest attractions of Terminal 4.
Terminal 5 was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth ll on the 14 March 2008 and opened to the public from the 27 March 2008. During the initial phase, the terminal faced disruption in operation due to improper IT systems and poor staff training that resulted in the cancellation of 500 flights. Nevertheless, it managed to overcome the hurdles with the vigorous staff management and technical enhancements. The terminal has a four storey main building and is linked to two satellite buildings by an underground people mover transit system. Built at a cost of £4.3 billion, Heathrow’s Terminal 5 has an area of 3, 200,000 sq ft with Concourse B spanning across an area of 650,000 ft. It consists of 60 aircrafts and stands with 30 million passengers a year.