What is the opening date of terminal 5 at Heathrow airport?

Air Travel

By Kristy Tolley

Heathrow Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world, serving millions of passengers annually. Terminal 5 is one of its five terminals and is a state-of-the-art facility designed to provide passengers with a smooth and efficient travel experience. The opening of Terminal 5 was highly anticipated, and its launch was delayed several times due to various reasons. This article aims to provide information on the opening date of Terminal 5, its features, airlines operating in the terminal, capacity, and advantages.

Background of Terminal 5

Terminal 5 is a part of Heathrow Airport, located in London, UK. It was designed by Richard Rogers and is the largest free-standing building in the UK. The construction of Terminal 5 began in 2002, and its opening was initially planned for 2007. The terminal was built at a cost of £4.3 billion and covers an area of 353,020 square meters.

Previous Opening Dates

Terminal 5 was initially scheduled to open on March 27, 2008, but it was delayed due to problems with the baggage system. The opening was rescheduled for April 2008 but was delayed again due to further problems with the baggage system. The terminal finally opened on March 27, 2008.

Reasons for Delay

One of the main reasons for the delay in the opening of Terminal 5 was the complexity of the baggage system. The system was designed to handle over 12,000 bags per hour, but it experienced technical difficulties during testing. This caused delays in the baggage handling process and led to the cancellation of several flights.

Construction Progress

Terminal 5 was built on a site that was previously used for a sewage treatment plant. The construction involved the excavation of over 4 million cubic meters of material and the installation of over 180,000 square meters of glass. The building was constructed using sustainable materials, and it includes a rainwater harvesting system.

Official Opening Announcement

The official opening of Terminal 5 was announced by the British Airways CEO, Willie Walsh, on March 27, 2008. The terminal was opened to the public after a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by several dignitaries, including the Queen of England.

Features of Terminal 5

Terminal 5 is a modern and spacious facility that is designed to provide passengers with a comfortable and efficient travel experience. It features over 100 shops, restaurants, and cafes, as well as lounges for passengers to relax in. The terminal also includes state-of-the-art technology, such as self-check-in kiosks and automated boarding gates.

Airlines Operating in Terminal 5

Terminal 5 is primarily used by British Airways, which is the main airline operating in the terminal. Other airlines that operate from Terminal 5 include Iberia, American Airlines, and Qantas.

Terminal 5’s Capacity

Terminal 5 has the capacity to handle up to 30 million passengers annually. It includes 60 aircraft stands and seven satellite buildings, which are connected to the main terminal by an underground train.

Advantages of Terminal 5

Terminal 5 offers several advantages to passengers, including shorter check-in and security queues, faster baggage handling, and a wider range of shopping and dining options. The terminal also includes lounges for passengers to relax in before their flight.


Terminal 5 is a modern and efficient facility designed to provide passengers with a seamless travel experience. Its opening was delayed several times due to technical problems, but it has since become one of the busiest and most popular terminals at Heathrow Airport. Passengers who travel through Terminal 5 can enjoy a range of amenities and services, making it an ideal choice for those who value comfort and convenience.

Resources for Further Information

  • Heathrow Airport: https://www.heathrow.com/
  • British Airways: https://www.britishairways.com/
  • Terminal 5 Guide:
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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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