Can Heathrow Cope With The Olympics?

Officials are expecting the day after the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics to be the busiest ever for London’s main international airport. An amazing 218,000 bags, not far off the quarter million mark, are predicted to pass through the airport’s security checks in just one day.

The London hub estimates it will be the arrival and departure airport for 80 per cent of all athletes, officials, sponsors, media and spectators attending next year’s Games, and has signed a sponsorship agreement to be the official “Host Airport” for London 2012.
The amount of bags passing through the airport on that particular day will easily surpass its current record, which is 160,000, and the airport estimates 15 per cent of the baggage will be athletic equipment such as canoes, pole vaults and bikes.

So now officials are mulling over the idea of options to help with the overload, including a temporary “Olympic terminal” dedicated to Olympic traffic, bag drop facilities at the Olympic village, and shipping baggage as freight.

BAA Chief Executive Colin Matthews said:“London 2012 will be Heathrow’s greatest challenge. Every part of the airport is working together so we can give the world’s greatest athletes the world’s greatest welcome.

“To deliver a memorable experience for athletes and spectators we will deploy 1,000 Heathrow volunteers. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of something special. Volunteers will be helping spectators find their way, managing fans waiting for a peek of their heroes, and even greeting athletes and VIPs.”

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