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External view of Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Airport T2 Planning, UK

The Terminal 2 Phases 2 and 3 options study considered the next stage of development of the eastern campus at Heathrow. Working with HOK architects, we created a range of development options, and selected a preferred strategy to actively safeguard for the airport’s future.

Our solutions have improved terminal building efficiency by 20%
We enabled the development of an extra 1500m apron capacity

Mott MacDonald worked as part of a multidisciplinary team, led by HOK Architects and including specialist baggage and APM designers Logplan, to undertake the functional planning for the airfield, terminals and connections.

The study considered future extensions of the main T2 terminal building which opened in 2014, a new remote satellite, automated baggage links and track transit systems, airfield redevelopment, a new public transport interchange and associated infrastructure strategies.

The new terminal extension was configured to deliver a high degree of flexibility for different airline occupancy scenarios, to ensure that it could cope with varied demands in a rapidly evolving industry. This expansion had to fit within a very constrained operational site where the phasing challenges of how to develop are as important as the desired final outcome.

Innovative solutions were developed to respond to existing sub-surface constraints including various elements of tunnelling infrastructure. The design also addressed legacy shortfalls from the initial phase of the terminal development.

The baggage handling system was configured in such a way that it could be retro-fitted into an operational terminal building, while maintaining operations throughout the transitional period from the legacy system in the previous Terminal 1. The strategy adopted a decentralised system incorporating the security screening technology for the new Category 3 standard.

The tracked transit system had to not only deliver adequate capacity for the immediate goals of delivering passengers efficiently to the remote satellites, but also be configured to ensure an excellent degree of reliability while safeguarding for various masterplan strategies. This included an extension across the airport to the west to improve minimum connect times and potential future runway developments.

Value and benefits

  • We came up with an innovative tracked transit system strategy which could serve aprons to the east and west using trains containing dedicated screened and unscreened cars that can flex to meet demand.
  • Our team developed a new public transport interchange concept to integrate with the extended T2 which reduced walking distances for passengers, improved the prioritisation of public transport modes and created extra check-in and retail space.
  • The future T2 Phases 2 and 3 extensions will enable the closure of old Terminals 1 and 3. This will improve terminal building efficiency by 20% and enable an extra 1500m of apron capacity to be developed.
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