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The T5 site, while situated within the airport’s existing boundary, had previously been occupied by Thames Water’s Perry Oaks sludge works. Covering an area of around 260 hectares, it is equivalent in size to London’s Hyde Park and situated between two of the world’s busiest runways. Prior to construction the site was excavated by a team of over 90 archaeologists revealing that the land was occupied as far back as 6500 BC.
Construction began in earnest in the summer of 2002 and the terminal opened in 2008. BAA’s £4.2 billion investment is designed to cater for up to 35 million passengers annually and provides much needed terminal and airfield capacity to ease congestion and enable Heathrow to maximise use of its existing runways. On completion, British Airways transferred its entire operation, which use to be split between Terminals 1 and 4, to T5. As a result BAA is now able to address the investment and refurbishment needs of the four remaining terminals and complete the transformation of Heathrow.
T5 was one of Europe’s largest construction projects. With 16 major projects and over 147 sub-projects, it encompassed a vast and hugely complex programme of works. It remains a template for major construction projects of the future, pushing the boundaries of traditional construction, harnessing innovation and best practice from other industries and translating it into mainstream construction management.
In addition to the main terminal building, T5 also consists of two satellite buildings, 60 aircraft stands, a new air traffic control tower, a 4,000 space multi-storey car park, the creation of a new spur road from the M25, a 600-bed hotel, the diversion of two rivers and over 13km of bored tunnel, including extensions to the Heathrow Express and Piccadilly Line services.
This work encompassed a multitude of construction-related skills including Civil Engineering, Building, Highway Engineering, Mechanical & Electrical Engineering, Tunnelling, Railway Engineering, Specialist Systems Technology and Project Logistics management.