Heathrow Terminal 2

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Heathrow Terminal 2
The Queen's Terminal
Departure hall entrance, London Heathrow Terminal 2, UK - 20150621.jpg
Entrance to the terminal
Heathrow Terminal 2 is located in Greater London
Heathrow Terminal 2
Location within Greater London
Alternative namesLondon Heathrow Terminal 2, Heathrow East Terminal (formerly), Heathrow T2
General information
TypeAirport terminal
Coordinates51°28′13″N 0°27′07″W / 51.47029°N 0.45205°W / 51.47029; -0.45205Coordinates: 51°28′13″N 0°27′07″W / 51.47029°N 0.45205°W / 51.47029; -0.45205
Construction startedJuly 2010[1]
CompletedJune 2014
Opened4 June 2014
Inaugurated23 June 2014
Cost£2.3 billion[2]
ClientHeathrow Airport Holdings
Technical details
Structural systemSteel frame
Design and construction
ArchitectLuis Vidal, Foster + Partners
Architecture firmLuis Vidal + Architects
Other designersPascall+Watson, Foster and Partners and Grimshaw Architects
Main contractorHETCo (a joint venture between Ferrovial Agroman and Laing O'Rourke and Balfour Beatty.[3]

Heathrow Terminal 2, also known as The Queen's Terminal, is an airport terminal at Heathrow Airport, the main airport serving London, United Kingdom. The new development was originally named Heathrow East Terminal, and occupies the sites where the previous Terminal 2 and the Queens Building stood. It was designed by Luis Vidal + Architects and opened on 4 June 2014. The original Terminal 2 opened in 1955 as the Europa Building and was the airport's oldest terminal.

Terminal 1 closed to passengers on 30 June 2015,[4] although as Terminal 1's baggage system is used by Terminal 2, part of it will remain operational.[5] Terminal 1 is due to be demolished, allowing for Terminal 2 to be extended at an as yet undisclosed date.[6] In 2015, Terminal 2 handled 16.7 million passengers on 116,861 flights and 22.5% of the airport's passengers on 25.2% of its flights with an average of 130 passengers per flight.[7]


Approval for the new terminal, originally named Heathrow East, was granted by the then-Mayor of London Ken Livingstone and Hillingdon Council in May 2007.[8]


Terminal 2 departures area

The new terminal's design continues the "toast rack" principle employed in the construction of Terminal 5, a layout that maximises use of the airport's land by placing the terminal building and its satellites perpendicular to the runways.[9] Like Terminal 5, much of the building was constructed off-site, helping to overcome many of the logistical constraints of building in one of the world's busiest international airports.

The terminal is split into two connected buildings, Terminal 2A and Terminal 2B. 2A was designed by Luis Vidal + Architects (LVA) and built by a joint venture between Ferrovial and Laing O'Rourke.[10] All European carriers, except Icelandair use terminal 2A to board and disembark passengers. Air Canada and Turkish Airlines also use this building for their short haul flights. 2B was designed by Grimshaw Architects, and built by Balfour Beatty.[11] All international carriers use terminal 2B. Icelandair is the only European carrier to use Terminal 2B.

The gates in the new T2 are numbered in concourse A (gates 1–26) and concourse B (gates 28–49).

The new Terminal 2 is designed to produce 40% fewer carbon dioxide emissions than the buildings it has replaced.[12] 20% of this target will be achieved through energy efficiency design technology elements, such as high levels of insulation, LED lighting and passive lighting. Also large north-facing windows in the roof will flood the building with natural light, reducing the need for artificial lighting, without generating excess heat. Photovoltaic (solar) panels on the roof will further reduce dependency on energy supplies. The remaining 20% carbon reduction will be due to the new T2 Energy Centre, via biomass CHP fuelled by woodchips from local renewable resources, will provide heating and cooling to both Heathrow Terminal 2 and Heathrow Terminal 5.[12]


The new Terminal 2 building under construction, January 2012

Construction of the terminal is spread across two phases. The first phase, started in 2009 and completed in June 2014, has involved the demolition of the old terminal and construction of half of the main terminal building, and the completion of the 522-metre (1,713 ft) satellite building Terminal 2B. The second phase is due to begin after the demolition of Terminal 1 and will involve the construction of the second half of Terminal 2 in its place. It had originally been expected that the second phase would be completed around 2019, but in February 2013 Heathrow Airport Ltd. confirmed the project would not be expected to be complete until the next decade.[13] Once complete the terminal will have a footprint and operational capacity very similar to that of Terminal 5.

Phase 1 was once expected to be completed in 2012, in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics but, as construction started much later than proposed it only opened in June 2014.[14]

By January 2013, Terminal 2A had been declared weather-tight and the internal fit-out of the building was well under way. In spring 2013 systems installation commenced. The first phase of Terminal 2B was completed in November 2009 and its six gates became operational in early 2010. Until Terminal 2 was completed, passengers accessed the first part of Terminal 2B via a temporary "bridge" from Terminal 1.[15]

Demolition of the original airport control tower which formed part of the Central Terminal Area of the airport began in January 2013 and was completed in autumn 2013, to make way for connecting roads that have been built to link with the new Terminal 2. Air traffic control operations had moved to a new control tower in 2007 but part of the building remained in use as office space.[16]

In June 2013 it was announced that the terminal would be known as "Terminal 2 – The Queen's Terminal".[17] The terminal features a sculpture designed by Richard Wilson, called Slipstream. It has been designed to resemble a stunt aircraft in flight, and has been described as the longest permanent sculpture in Europe.[18] A second sculpture, named Emergence, was created by Cinimod Studio and is suspended within the terminal.


Slipstream has been described as the longest permanent sculpture in Europe

The first flight to arrive at the terminal was United Airlines flight UA958 from Chicago O'Hare, landing at 5:49 am local time on 4 June 2014.[19] Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the terminal on 23 June 2014 after Air Canada, Air China, and All Nippon Airways moved in on 18 June 2014. [20]

After a period of phased moves,[21] the terminal has become home to Star Alliance (along with new member Air India), as part of Heathrow Airport's plan to maximise the efficiency of the airport by reducing transfer times and improving the passenger experience.[22] The new terminal will have capacity for 30 million passengers each year.[14]


Star Alliance[edit]

Terminal 2 is the base for Star Alliance members that fly from Heathrow. All airlines transferred from other terminals by January 2017, with Air India shifting from Terminal 4 to Terminal 2 on 25 January 2017.[23] There is no common Star Alliance lounge in the terminal; Lufthansa has a lounge in the main terminal, while Air Canada, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines each have lounges in the satellite.

In the main terminal there are also an Aer Lingus lounge and a Plaza Premium pay-as-you-go lounge.


Three non-alliance airlines also use the terminal: Aer Lingus, flying to Ireland; Icelandair, flying to Iceland, which has multiple code-share and interline agreements with Star Alliance members, such as SAS and Lufthansa. Tianjin Airlines, a new airline flying from Xi'an was planning to operate from this terminal but uses Terminal 3 rather than Terminal 2 to reduce capacity restrictions at Terminal 2.

Terminal 2 is set up to handle not only International flights, but also UK domestic and Irish flights, which is like Terminal 5 and unlike Terminals 3 and 4.

Airbus A380 and Boeing 747[edit]

Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways International operate the Airbus A380 from Terminal 2. In summer 2015 two of Singapore Airlines' four daily flights and Thai Airways' single daily flight used this aircraft.

United Airlines previously has used a single daily 747 on its San Francisco to Heathrow routes during the summer tourist season, but UA retired all of its 747s in November 2017. Thai Airways International has also used one 747 on another daily flight to this terminal.

Original terminal[edit]

Former Terminal building in 1972
Former Terminal 2 building in 2007

The first building to be known as Terminal 2 was Heathrow's oldest terminal. It was designed by Frederick Gibberd and opened as the Europa Building in 1955. He also designed the adjacent Queens Building.

The old Terminal 2 had an area of 49,654 square metres (534,470 sq ft) and in its lifetime saw 316 million passengers pass through its doors. Originally designed to handle around 1.2 million passengers annually, in its final years of operation it often accommodated around 8 million.

On 20 April 1984, a bomb exploded in the baggage area of T2, injuring 22 people including 1 seriously.

Despite the best efforts of maintenance staff and various renovations and upgrades over the years, the building became increasingly decrepit and unserviceable. It was closed on 23 November 2009;[24] Air France flight AF1881 to Paris was the last flight to depart from the terminal. The building was demolished in 2010,[25] and the resulting space was combined with the adjacent area where the Queen's Building stood until its demolition in 2009 to form the site for the new terminal.

Ground transportation[edit]

Inter-terminal transport[edit]

Terminal 2 is connected by an underground walkway to Terminal 3. Terminals 4 and 5 can be reached by the free Heathrow Express rail service. London Underground services can also be used to transfer to Terminals 4 and 5 (the former requiring a change of train at Hatton Cross), but this service is only free to Oyster card holders.[26]

In addition, numerous buses ply between the Central Bus Station (for Terminals 2 and 3) and the other terminals. However, using the train service is much quicker and easier for passengers with luggage. The bus service is free between terminals.

Road links[edit]

As part of the three central terminals at Heathrow, it is well linked to the M4 motorway via the M4 spur road and through a tunnel under the north runway.

Rail links[edit]

Terminal 2 is accessed by the Piccadilly Line of the London Underground from Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 tube station, with trains towards Cockfosters via Central London. The Terminal is also accessed by TfL Rail and Heathrow Express from Heathrow Central where services go to Paddington. TfL Rail services are due to be replaced by Crossrail when it finally opens at some point in the future and services would be increased from two trains per hour (about every 30 minutes) to four trains per hour (about every 15 minutes).

Bus links[edit]

Terminal 2 is accessible to both bus and coach services from Heathrow Central bus station.

There are also several coach services operated by National Express operating to other London airports such as Gatwick, Stansted and Luton; and other cities in the United Kingdom.


  1. ^ Heathrow's new terminal 2: timeline. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  2. ^ Parker, Andrew (17 February 2012). "Milestone for Heathrow Terminal 2 revamp". Financial Times. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  3. ^ Heathrow's new terminal 2: Frequently asked questions. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  4. ^ "London Heathrow Airport bids farewell to Terminal 1". BBC News. 29 January 2015. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  5. ^ "Appendix A: Terminal 2 Programme" (PDF). Heathrow Airport Holdings. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 May 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Heathrow Terminal One deserted ahead of closure next month". ITV News. 28 May 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Heathrow facts and figures". Heathrow Airport. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Green light for Heathrow terminal". BBC News. 31 May 2007. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  9. ^ "Capital Investment Plan 2010" (PDF). BAA Ltd. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
  10. ^ Laing O'Rourke/Ferrovial sign £800m Terminal 2 deal CN Plus, 15 March 2010
  11. ^ [1] Infrastructure Intelligence 30 June 2014
  12. ^ a b "Energy efficiency at the new terminal 2". Heathrow Official Airport Website. 1 November 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  13. ^ Gardiner, Joey (15 February 2013). "Delayed Heathrow Terminal 2 project could be worth £5bn | Magazine News". Building. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  14. ^ a b "Heathrow Terminal revamp unveiled". BBC News. 10 August 2009. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
  15. ^ "Balfour wins £460m Heathrow T2 extension". Construction Enquirer. 11 August 2010. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  16. ^ "Old control tower demolition". Heathrow Airport. 9 January 2013. Archived from the original on 17 January 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  17. ^ "Heathrow Terminal 2 named Queen's Terminal". BBC News. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  18. ^ "Heathrow terminal sculpture unveiled in Hull". BBC News. 25 April 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  19. ^ "Heathrow airport's new Terminal 2 opens to passengers". BBC News. 4 June 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  20. ^ "Queens opens Heathrow Terminal 2". BBC News. 23 June 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  21. ^ "Heathrow: Airline moves". Heathrow Airport Holdings.
  22. ^ "Terminal 2 The Queen's Terminal". Heathrow Airport Holdings. 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  23. ^ http://www.airindia.in/
  24. ^ Last call for Heathrow Terminal 2, BBC News. 23 November 2009.
  25. ^ "Demolition work begins at Heathrow's Terminal 2". BBC News. 29 April 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  26. ^ "Travel between terminals – Heathrow".

External links[edit]

Media related to Heathrow Terminal 2 at Wikimedia Commons