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Photos: Heathrow's Terminal 5 comes alive

Behind the scenes at BA and BAA's mega-project<br /><br />
By Tim Ferguson, Contributor on
40150588-1-t5-southern-facade.jpg
1 of 11 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

Behind the scenes at BA and BAA's mega-project

This is Heathrow Airport's new Terminal 5 (T5) in all its glory.

The project has been five years in the making and is due to open - on time and on budget - on 27 March, 2008.

T5 has been jointly developed by BAA - which runs the airport - and British Airways which will become the sole airline operating out of T5.

silicon.com went along to see how the final preparations are going and to see how technology has shaped the building.

Find out which airports have the best internet connectivity - and share your own experiences – at atlarge.com.

Photo credit: BAA



What's the latest at T5? See the high-tech transformation in action here…

Photos: Heathrow's T5 tech ready for take-off



Share your own views of Heathrow at atlarge.com

40150588-2-t5-gate-seating.jpg
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These are some of the departure gates to the south end of the terminal.

T5 will be able to accommodate 30 million extra air passengers per year, making Heathrow the leading passenger hub in Europe.

Heathrow badly needs the new terminal as 70 million travellers currently pass through its doors each year, using an infrastructure originally designed for just 45 million.

The circular disks on the ceiling are designed to improve acoustics in what is a vast space.

Photo credit: BAA



What's the latest at T5? See the high-tech transformation in action here…

Photos: Heathrow's T5 tech ready for take-off



Share your own views of Heathrow at atlarge.com

40150588-3-t5-bag-drops.jpg
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These are the bag-drop points which form the second 'wave' of the customer experience as they enter the terminal.

Once they have checked in, using one of the 96 self-service check-in kiosks, 56 manned check-in desks or BA's online service – the first 'wave' - they can put their luggage into the state-of-the-art baggage handling system.

With these systems in place, British Airways CIO Paul Coby, said: "We're starting the process of bringing T5 alive."

Coby was voted the UK's top CIO in silicon.com's CIO50.

Photo credit: BAA



What's the latest at T5? See the high-tech transformation in action here…

Photos: Heathrow's T5 tech ready for take-off



Share your own views of Heathrow at atlarge.com

40150588-4-t5-departures-check.jpg
4 of 11 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

This is the view passengers will get when they first enter the terminal. A lot of emphasis has been put on creating space and drawing people in the right direction.

CIO50 member, BAA IT director Richard Rundle has been responsible for managing the major IT investment made into the T5 project.

T5 has a fully integrated IP building management environment, as well as mobile and wireless networks.

Nick Gaines, business critical systems director for BAA, said the building has a network infrastructure "appropriate for a small city". He added: "It's a truly networked building."

The building has also been designed with future technologies in mind. Gaines said: "One of the challenges is safeguarding for future technologies."

Photo credit: BAA



What's the latest at T5? See the high-tech transformation in action here…

Photos: Heathrow's T5 tech ready for take-off



Share your own views of Heathrow at atlarge.com

40150588-5-t5-baggage-system.jpg
5 of 11 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

In the bowels of the new building is the baggage handling system which BAA and British Airways are both extremely proud of.

Using tech from IBM and baggage system specialists, Vanderlande, the system can process 12,000 bags per hour and moves items around as fast as 30mph.

Photo credit: BAA



What's the latest at T5? See the high-tech transformation in action here…

Photos: Heathrow's T5 tech ready for take-off



Share your own views of Heathrow at atlarge.com

40150588-6-t5-bag-store.jpg
6 of 11 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

This is the baggage store which can hold up to 4,000 bags.

If passengers check in before their plane arrives, their bags end up here before being automatically retrieved by the baggage system when the flight is due to be loaded.

The building has 163 tech systems, 9,000 connected devices and enough cabling to stretch to Istanbul and back again.

Photo credit: BAA



What's the latest at T5? See the high-tech transformation in action here…

Photos: Heathrow's T5 tech ready for take-off



Share your own views of Heathrow at atlarge.com

40150588-7-t5-baggage-reclaim.jpg
7 of 11 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

This is what passengers will see when they collect their bags after their flight.

There is a large amount of space and a high roof aimed at making it a relaxing and easy to navigate environment.

Photo credit: BAA



What's the latest at T5? See the high-tech transformation in action here…

Photos: Heathrow's T5 tech ready for take-off



Share your own views of Heathrow at atlarge.com

40150588-8-t5-plane-foreground.jpg
8 of 11 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

A British Airways 747 taxis past the new terminal which will be home to much of the BA fleet from early next year.

BAA will officially hand the keys to T5 to BA on 17 September to allow the airline to get staff familiarised with the new workplace and ensure everything is working for the March 2008 opening.

Photo credit: BAA



What's the latest at T5? See the high-tech transformation in action here…

Photos: Heathrow's T5 tech ready for take-off



Share your own views of Heathrow at atlarge.com

40150588-9-t5-aerial-1.jpg
9 of 11 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

This aerial view of the T5 development shows the scale of the project with the rest of the airport stretching away to the east.

The main terminal building - T5A - is visible, with the first satellite building (T5B) beyond. There will also be T5C, which will be operational from 2010.

The whole T5 site covers the same area as Hyde Park in London.

The entire airport is set for a complete makeover with a series of similar 'toast rack' terminals replacing the ageing terminals during next decade.

Nick Gaines said T5 is, in effect, "the unlocking key" to the redevelopment of the whole central terminal area.

He said: "It's a genuine mega-project by any measurement."

Photo credit: BAA



What's the latest at T5? See the high-tech transformation in action here…

Photos: Heathrow's T5 tech ready for take-off



Share your own views of Heathrow at atlarge.com

40150588-10-t5-departures-view.jpg
10 of 11 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

This is the view passengers will get once they have passed through security and are on T5's airside.

When it opens, the area will have more shops than the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent had when it first opened its doors.

Photo credit: BAA



What's the latest at T5? See the high-tech transformation in action here…

Photos: Heathrow's T5 tech ready for take-off



Share your own views of Heathrow at atlarge.com

40150588-11-t5-sign.jpg
11 of 11 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

Signs point the way for workers accessing the vast T5 site.

At its peak the project employed 6,500 people and spent £2.5m per day.

Photo credit: BAA



What's the latest at T5? See the high-tech transformation in action here…

Photos: Heathrow's T5 tech ready for take-off



Share your own views of Heathrow at atlarge.com

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