Heathrow Secondary School Challenge wraps up


By Heathrow

Published 30th May 2014

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Heathrow’s Secondary School Challenge wrapped up last week with over 2,000 students taking part. YourHeathrow takes a quick look at what it was all about.

The Heathrow Secondary School Challenge saw 18 of the airport’s engineers head out to local schools to give pupils hands-on experience of engineering challenges.

A half-day event was held at each school where pupils were taught to build a mini version of the Terminal 5 Track Transit System (TTS) – the driverless electric train that shuttles passengers to satellite terminals.

A new track transit train being lowered into T5 last week. Students were asked to replicate these on a small scale.

The challenge visited 14 schools over the three week period from 28 March, with Chartered Civil Engineer Jeremy King on hand at each to teach students about basic electrical circuits and set a series of challenges for each of them.

Head of Heathrow’s engineering apprenticeship scheme Kelly Stone said: ‘There is a wide range of exciting engineering opportunities at Heathrow. We want to ensure the talented young people on our doorstep are aware of these careers and inspired to choose the right subjects needed to succeed in them.”

“The aim of the challenge is to introduce pupils to engineering in a fun, interactive, relevant way which we hope will ignite an interest for studying STEM1 subjects in the future.” – Kelly Stone, Heathrow

The Heathrow Secondary School Challenge began seven years ago in order to broaden local students’ awareness of employment opportunities at Heathrow. It complements Heathrow’s Primary School Challenge aimed at year 6 pupils, which sees thousands of 10 year olds build terminals out of newspaper.

Many children in the boroughs surrounding the airport will aspire to work there in the future but may not be aware of the full range of careers available, particularly those in engineering, or what they would need to study to be eligible for them. Whilst engineers are critical to the airport’s operations, they are in short supply.

Engineering UK2 estimates that Britain needs to double the number of recruits into engineering to meet demand. Yet just 20 per cent of 12-16 year olds express any knowledge of what people working in engineering do, and just 3% of all GCSEs taken in 2012 were in physics – a key subject for those wishing to study engineering at university. Encrougaging pupils to study STEM subjects is the first step in reducing the current skills defecit in the UK.

1. By entering this competition, the entrants agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.

2. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Residents from such countries must not submit entries and any such entries that are submitted will not be accepted. Entrants from jurisdictions where the draw is not permitted will not be entitled to claim any prize. Proof of address may be required at any stage of the competition.

3. This competition is not open to employees of LHR Airports Limited (LHR), Star Alliance Services GmbH (Star GmbH), Sunglass Hut, YO! Sushi and Ted Baker or any person directly or indirectly connected with this competition or family members of any of these persons.

4. Unless otherwise noted, this competition is open to everyone. Further detail in clause 8 (b, c, d).

5. Participants are permitted to submit one (1) entry.

6. Participants may vote one (1) time per day of the competition.

7. Entries are open from 12:00 pm (BST) 30th of May 2014 until 23:59 (BST) on the 3rd of June 2014.

8. To be eligible for the competition the entrant must upload a photo of their “T2” by 23.59 (BST) on the 3rd of June 2014 the competition app found on www.facebook.com/heathrowairport OR www.your.heathrow.com. The four (4) photos which receive the most votes by 23:59 (BST) on the 3rd of June 2014 will determine the contest winners. There will be four (4) prizes for four (4) different winners. The prizes for the winners with the most votes are (in descending order):

  • Prize 1: Two (2) return tickets (Economy Class) between any two destinations on the Star Alliance network. The Prize consists of two Star Alliance airline tickets to any destination on the Star Alliance network. The destination is to be selected by the winner. All flights must be requested by 30 November 2014 and tickets must be issued by 31 December 2014. Tickets are valid as per the maximum validity of the applicable fare; maximum for one year after date of issuance of the tickets.The current recommended retail value of the Prize depends on the destination chosen, but the expected maximum value would be no more than about 5,000 EUR. Applicable flight fees, taxes and surcharges will be included as part of the Prize. Cost of accommodation, airport transfers and all other travel expenses is not included and must be financed by the travellers. *Please see additional Prize Terms and Conditions on the following page
  • Prize 2: £300 Sunglass Hut voucher. Prize only available to UK residents
  • Prize 3: £300 YO! Sushi voucher. Prize only available to UK residents
  • Prize 4: Ted Baker Goodie Bag worth £250. Prize only available to UK residents

In the event of equal votes on two photos, the winner will be decided by drawing lots.

9. The prizes are non-refundable and cannot be returned or exchanged for any other product.

10. The winner will be notified on Facebook within 24 hours of the competition closing (23.59 (BST) on the 3rd of June 2014). If the prize is unclaimed by the initial winner(s) within 30 days, there will be no further prize awarded. LHR’s announcement regarding the result of the winner is final and there will be no further correspondence.

11. Any breach of these Terms and Conditions by an entrant will void their entry. Misrepresentative or fraudulent entries will invalidate an entry.

12. LHR reserves the right at any time to cancel, modify or supersede the competition (including altering prizes) if, in LHR’s sole discretion, a competition is not capable of being conducted as specified. This competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Entrants must understand that they are providing their information to LHR and not Facebook.

13. By entering, all entrants agree to release Facebook from all liability whatsoever in connection with this competition.

14. These Terms and Conditions shall be governed by the laws of England and Wales and subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts. The Promoter is LHR Airports Limited of The Compass Centre, 1st Floor, Nelson Road, Hounslow, Middlesex, TW6 2GW.

15. Any personal data provided by an entrant are provided voluntarily and will remain confidential to LHR and its group companies, including Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited and Aberdeen International Airport Limited, collectively referred to as (“Heathrow“), will not be disclosed to any third party without the entrant’s prior consent and will be processed in accordance with Heathrow’s privacy policy (which you can find at http://www.heathrowairport.com/help/privacy-notice) and the applicable laws, except that LHR Airports Limited reserves the right to use the information for the purposes of facilitating the competition including but not limited to publishing the name of the winner on its website & social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram) to which you consent by your entry and ticking the respective box, as well as providing the prize winners’ details to third parties for the purposes of administering the competition, including, but not limited to, the providers of the prizes.

Earlier this year Heathrow gave passengers the chance to take iPad art lessons while waiting for flights with artist Andy Maitland. We caught up with Andy to find out more about this innovative art, see some of his pics, and what inspired him at Heathrow. Enjoy!

What gave you the idea to use your iPad to create your images?

Although I paint exclusivity on the iPad, this is a recent venture for me.I went to art school and I have a background in graphics. I bought my first iPad in the early days of its arrival on the market. In late 2011 I began painting on my iPad following a short break to Florence in Italy (the scenery was stunning). Hockney, the renowned English artist inspired me to get back to art with his recent landscape pictures. My late father was also a huge inspiration and I regularly emailed him with my latest iPad pictures for his critique.

“What I find so fantastic about the iPad is the immediacy and mobility that it enables; no need for paints, water, canvas or an easel! I love how I can work on my iPad art in my local park, in a cafe in Italy or at Heathrow Airport before boarding a flight.”

I’m also drawn (excuse the pun) to this new medium because finally there is a tool that moves at the speed of my imagination.

What attracts you to paint on the iPad?

Along with the immediacy, I like the inclusivity of painting on the iPad. The iPad has brought the ability for everyone, both young and old, to make art. I believe the iPad has opened up the possibility of creativity and the expression of the imagination to more people than traditional paint tools. Indeed, passengers of all ages enjoyed experimenting with iPad painting at my recent visit to Heathrow.

As an artist, what images inspired you at Heathrow?

Broadly speaking I’m a landscape artist so I’m only just getting acquainted with Heathrow.

Rather like people, each place has a character of its own. Capturing something of the particular character of a space, like an airport, takes time and involves curiosity. I really enjoyed my visits to Heathrow, observing the different terminals and, in particular, the architecture in T5.

Aircraft are of course a uniquely distinguishing aspect of an airport and it was my first time at sketching these. I was visually inspired by the views of the aircraft through the large windows at each gate.

One of Andy’s masterpieces recreating an image from T5. Source: Andy Maitland

What techniques do you use to create the sketches on an iPad?

I’m still learning to develop my own techniques on this new medium. Generally I start by trying to imagine what I think my finished sketch might look like before I start the practical process.

I’m not interested in a perfect snapshot – I’m aiming to capture something of the character as I see it. Using my aircraft sketches as an example, I start drawing the background first, and then work towards the foreground.

Are there any Apps you could recommend?

There are lots of good iPad art apps to experiment with; finding one that suits you should be fairly simple. I mainly use Procreate but I also use the Brushes App too.

A Kuwait Airways aircraft captured by Andy from T4. Source: Andy Maitland.

What is your favourite image that you’ve created while at Heathrow?

I like this aircraft picture from Terminal 4 (see above), which was painted over a few hours from around 4pm – 7pm. The video of the painting process shows me trying to respond to the changing environment and it’s a glimpse into the life of Terminal 4 at Heathrow during the time I was there.

I’m also pleased with the 747 jumbo and the shadow cast across the ground at the window location near the Espresso bar, Gate 10, in Terminal 5.

What next?

I have a new e-book published on the Apple iBookstore which I am excited about. In August Bank holiday weekend I have a pop-up exhibition opening in my local park in Reigate showing recent works. Around these events and exhibitions I’m drawing and painting day to day.

I also hope to be back in the terminals over the summer so keep an eye out on Heathrow’s social channels for updates. Happy painting!

October 24, 2013, marks the 10th anniversary of Concorde‘s last flight landing in Britain and we’re celebrating by showcasing the great tweets and images inspired by the historic aircraft!

Got your own pic or memory? Share it with us below or via Twitter (@yourHeathrow) or Instagram (@Heathrow_Airport) using the hashtags #concorde and #heathrow.



We’re happy to announce we’ve added over 10 new points for our fans to explore Heathrow through on our interactive map. From Concorde to noise information, get started by finding our list below.

The new points include videos, pictures and click-through animation. Explore the map today to find them all, including:

  • T4 history

  • View Heathrow

  • Concorde

  • Our North-West Runway plan

  • Our work with the 5 surrounding boroughs

  • Noise and the community

  • Airport Firefighters

  • Children’s play areas

  • Fashion

Click here to visit the map.

A new transit train has been delivered for passengers to shuttle them through Terminal 5 and add more resilience to the system.

The train was lowered through a hole in the middle of the airfield last night with just a 4 hour window for completion before flights arrived today.

The vehicle is 11.5 metres long, weighs 16 tonnes and took a team of 60 people to coordinate the delivery.

The train is part of an ongoing investment program that has seen £11bn spent in the last decade on new facilities around the airport.

The unveiling of Heathrow’s improved third runway plans last week created a Twitter storm with over 22 million tweeters exposed to the UK topic. YourHeathrow takes a look at the “Twitter-verse” as another Airports Commission milestone is ticked off in the lead up to the 2015 recommendations.

News headlines were turned into tweets as the story spread across all online news outlets and digital channels.

Commentary focused on the M25, jobs and economic benefits and support across the UK ranged from local residents to MPs.

The freight industry backed a ‘bigger Heathrow’ to their 5000 followers while @EnterpriseM3 and the voice of manufacturers gave our expansion plans a friendly welcome. MPs, local business groups and residents also chimed in.

@Daily_Politics, followed by 50,000 peeps, joined the Twitterverse when hosting Heathrow’s incoming CEO John Holland-Kaye and equivalent Stewart Wingate who went head to head on the midday daily program.

Join in the debate yourself by tweeting us @yourHeathrow using #britainsheathrow. To find out more about Heathrow’s 3rd runway plans visit our new site area Britain’s heathrow.

Here at yourHeathrow, we’re aviation fanatics, obviously, which is why we decided to host a group of like minded aviation enthusiasts, photographers, journalists and NATS Air Traffic Controllers in a special access visit on Tuesday (September 3, 2013). Behind the scenes knowledge, an exclusive viewing platform and a tour of the revolutionary new T2 were involved in the day…

Our guests were treated to a privileged view of the airfield from Heathrow’s media stands which sit three stories high and right next to the Northern Runway. Installed to provide broadcast crews with an unparalleled backdrop of the airport, this was only the second time outside aviation enthusiasts have been given access to the stands.

The autumn sunlight and the northern runway operating on Westerlies provided ideal conditions for our enthusiasts (not to be confused with plane spotters) to take countless photographs of the A380s, 747s, and 330s – to name just a few – taking off into the skyline. Runway alternation at 3pm then allowed our friends to capture aircraft landing here at Heathrow.

NATS, Airside Operations and T2 under construction…

While positioned behind the lens, the group heard from NATS Air Traffic Controllers, Dean and Andy, who have the best view in the house with the control tower as their office. Simon Newbold from Airside Operations was also on deck to share his extensive aviation knowledge as a Heathrow employee for more than 23 years.

From the tarmac to the terminal, the group were then taken on a tour of Heathrow’s new Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal, where they were able to view the progress on the airport’s £2.5 billion project.

Reflecting on the day, one of the aviation photographers said: ‘It was a brilliant experience. You just can’t get views like that around the airport and it was a nice to take advantage of this opportunity.”

The competition…

We’ve teamed up with NATS to put our photographers head to head in a competition with the winner to be decided by online voting held across the Heathrow Airport Facebook page, yourHeathrow site, and NATS blog (this competition has since closed – the spectacular photos from the winner’s day airside can be found here.

The winning shot from Ian during our first plane spotters day.

Stay tuned for more info and cast your vote on the best photo from their plane spotting day from Friday.

Are you an aviation photographer or plane spotter? Share your pics with us on Twitter @yourheathrow or leave a comment below.

For those wanting to know more about NATS visit their blog or check out our Behind the scenes piece on what it’s like to be an Air Traffic Controller.

The Concorde is perhaps the most popular aircraft of all time and it continues to inspire people’s imaginations around the world. We took a quick look at some of the facts and figures behind “The Queen of the skies”. Enjoy!

Concorde, once flew lucky passengers at supersonic speeds (That means faster than the speed of sound!) and was commonly referred to as ‘the Queen of the Skies’.

We love receiving photos and stories about Concorde. Tweet us your photos @yourHeathrow or tag us on instagram using @Heathrow_Airport. – yourHeathrow Team

Now retired, she no longer graces our skies around Heathrow. Yet, her legend lives on…she’s still a household name and an all-time favourite among many aviation fans. Her record breaking feats and unique appearance have locked her in as an icon in aviation history. With your inspiration yourHeathrow went searching and found some interesting and unusual facts about this sleek, speedy aircraft:

Birth: Concorde was born out of separate British and French projects which joined forces in 1962

Primary users: British Airways, Air France

Number built: 20

Cruising Speed: 1,350mph (2,160kph/Mach Two) up to 60,000 ft.

Range: 4,143 miles (6,667 kms)

Passengers: 100

Length: 62.1m

Maximum take-off weight: 408,000lbs (185 tonnes)

First prototype: (001) was rolled out of its hangar at Toulouse, France in 1967

First flight: From Toulouse on March 2, 1969

First supersonic flight: Successfully completed on October 1, 1969

Testing: 5,000 hours – making it the most tested aircraft ever

First commercial flight from Heathrow: Heathrow to Bahrain, BA300 on January 21, 1976

Last commercial flight from Heathrow: New York JFK to Heathrow, BA2 on October 24, 2003

Around the World: A chartered Concorde circumnavigated the world in 32 hours on November 1, 1986

Fastest Transatlantic Crossing: February 7, 1996 from New York to London flight in 2 hours 52 minutes.

Frequent Traveller: Fred Finn holds the Guinness World Record for the most Concorde flights as a passenger. Between 1976 and 2003 he flew 718 times – all of them in the same seat, 9A.

Astronauts vs Pilots: There have been more US astronauts than BA Concorde pilots.

We love receiving photos and stories about Concorde. Check out some of the photos our followers have tweeted us below. Tweet us your photos or comments @yourHeathrow.References:

BBC News: Concorde Facts and Figures. 25 July, 2000. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hiworld/europe/851027.stm

British Airways: Celebrating Concorde. http://www.britishairways.com/travel/history-concorde/public/en_gb

Discovery UK: Concorde Facts. 15 November, 2012. http://www.discoveryuk.com/the-loop/friday-facts-29th-july/

Heathrow’s Mark Rothwell and John Cooper have seen a lot of things in their combined 30 years of service at the airport, but few as memorable as the time they helped save a 67-year-old man’s life.

On Wednesday September 11, 2013, Mark and John were going about their normal routines as Traffic Flow Controllers when they received an emergency call that would turn their days upside down.

Both men raced to a car park where a 67-year-old man was having a cardiac arrest , but thanks to their first aid training both men were able to begin resuscitating him with Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) techniques.

A paramedic arrived shortly after followed by Police and Ambulance, and Mark and John were able to continue resuscitating the man under their supervision before he was taken to hospital. Thanks to their quick response the man is now recovering in hospital.

While Mark has been called upon multiple times to help resuscitate people at the airport, this was John’s first time.

“This is the third cardiac arrest I have attended but this was the first one that I have been first on scene to and required to use CPR for real. I was really fortunate to be with Mark as his experience was crucial in what was a stressful situation with the pressure of someone’s life involved,” John said.

Mark, a Woking local with 24 years experience at the airport, has been involved in previous medical emergencies where the patients were not as fortunate.

“This is definitely not my first resuscitation. For example, I previously received a Police commendation for my actions during a similar incident about 7 years ago in which I was assisted by police and a BA (British Airways) cabin crew member,” Mark said.

“On that occasion, we weren’t as lucky as we tried unsuccessfully to aid a passenger inside Terminal 1. All of this has made me even more passionate about working with the London Ambulance Service and Heathrow Heartstart to provide basic life support training for more people across the airport.

“I’ve seen first-hand how it can make the difference between life and death.”

Both men received their first aid training via Heathrow provided courses, which include learning how to use the 180 heart-starting defibrillators stationed around the airport.

Heathrow is the only UK airport to have specialist bike-riding paramedics and passengers are never more than 2 minutes away from a defibrillator.

Significantly, passengers are also six times more likely to survive a cardiac arrest at Heathrow than anywhere else in London.


By Heathrow

Published 19th May 2014