UK airports operator BAA today said it
will close London Heathrow’s Terminal 2 when alliance carriers co-locate their
operations at Terminals 1, 3 and 4 in 2009.
The closure of Terminal 2 will
enable BAA to press ahead with its recently-announced Heathrow East facility,
intended for completion by 2012, and capable of handling 30 million passengers.
BAA says that the move represents a
“significant step forward” in making the Heathrow East proposal “a reality”.
British Airways will move into the
new Terminal 5 when it opens next year, while its Oneworld alliance partners will co-locate to
Terminal 3, along with Virgin Atlantic Airways.
carriers are to take over Terminal 1, with SkyTeam members co-locating to Terminal 4.
Non-aligned airlines will also probably be relocated to Terminal 4.
This redistribution, says BAA, will
mean that annual passenger numbers in Terminal 2 will drop to 1.5 million from
the current 9 million, which raises questions about the “economic and
operational viability” of the terminal.
“This low level of passenger traffic
makes the continued operation of Terminal 2 unsustainable and, therefore, a
decision has been made today to close the facility after all of the airline
relocations have taken place,” adds BAA.