To celebrate Her Majesty the Queen officially opening the new Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal we’re giving away 5 Royal Gift boxes to our Facebook fans. Full T’s and C’s are available below. To enter – visit the Heathrow Airport Facebook page.
1. By entering this competition, the entrants agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
2. No purchase necessary.
3. This competition is not open to employees of LHR Airports Limited (LHR) or any person directly or indirectly connected with this competition or family members of any of these persons.
4. Entry is open to all Facebook users.
5. To be eligible for the draw the entrant must specify their favourite royal moment posted from Heathrow by 23.59 (BST) Monday 23 June, 2014.
6. There will be four (5) prizes for five (5) different winners. The prizes are Royal gift box filled with exclusive goodies. The prizes are non-refundable and cannot be returned or exchanged for any other product.
7. All entrants who specify their favourite royal moment posted by Heathrow Airport on Facebook on Sunday 22 June, 2014 will go into a random draw to win the prize.
8. The winner will be notified on Facebook within 24 hours of the competition closing (23.59 (BST) on Monday 23 June, 2014). If the prize is unclaimed by the initial winner(s) within 30 days, there will be no further prize awarded. LHR’s decision regarding the selection of the winner is final and there will be no further correspondence.
9. Any breach of these Terms and Conditions by an entrant will void their entry. Misrepresentative or fraudulent entries will invalidate an entry.
10. 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.
11. By entering, all entrants agree to release Facebook from all liability whatsoever in connection with this competition.
12. 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.
Last week we shared with you 10 retro-Heathrow aircraft liveries thanks to experienced aviation enthusiast and photographer Tony Best. This week Tony has shared with us how the hobby of aviation photography has changed in the last 40 years at Heathrow. Enjoy!
I still remember my first visit to Heathrow when my dad went to pick up a customer’s Jaguar from the T3 car park. It was not the shiny red E-Type that made my day, but the sight of a Pan Am Boeing 747 parked next to a company 707. That was it, I was hooked and eagerly awaited my next encounter with this wonderful place. Not long after I made the first of many visits to the Queen’s Building roof gardens, greeted by the sight of a row of British Airways Tridents some still with the BEA tail logo.
Walking along the extensive viewing terrace, airliners from all over Europe and the Eastern Bloc could be seen, with classic early jets like the Caravelle and Boeing 727 much in evidence, the odour of Avtur hanging in the air never to be forgotten either. Next step down the road to becoming an aviation nut was the purchase of a copy of the Ian Allan Civil Aircraft Markings 1977 for 65 pence. This had all the aircraft registrations that you could expect to see in the UK, many of which soon started to get underlined in red ink.
By the beginning of the 1980s, the aircraft visiting Heathrow had changed a lot and the 707, DC-8 and VC10 were starting to give way to the early widebodies, with the 747, DC-10 and TriStar dominating the scene. It was around this time that I decided to begin taking photos to record the colourful range of airliners but did neglect the common subjects like the British Airways Tridents – I couldn’t afford to waste expensive Kodachrome film on them! Luckily I spotted my error and managed to get a few on film before they disappeared from the Heathrow skies for ever in 1985.
The changing skyline of Heathrow…
I now wish I had occasionally turned my camera away from the aircraft to shoot the buildings and landscape of Heathrow as I missed a chance to document the ever-changing scene, but that precious film was not to be expended on non-aircraft subjects. The future site of T4 was just a few fields with a hangar (pictured above) of the same name – Fields Aircraft Services Ltd.
The area where T5 is now, was the Perry Oaks sludge works and taking photos from the east end of the airport in the summer could be a very smelly business. Buildings have come and gone but I do miss the original control tower with its distinctive red brick design never looking out of place in the background of an aircraft photo, unlike its lanky modern-day successor.
It’s hard to document all the airlines I have seen at LHR over the years but many of them have now faded into the history books. It was a great shame when Pan Am and TWA left Heathrow for Gatwick but good to see United start. Many airlines have long gone like Swissair, Ghana Airways and Nigerian Airways and one thing is for sure in this business, you need get the photos today as airlines can disappear overnight!
My first photos were taken on my dad’s camera on 126 film but the quality was lacking and even aircraft parked on the nearest stands seemed lost in the blurry square print when they arrived back from the chemist. I had to wait a few years before getting my first 35mm SLR camera, a Pentax K-1000 with a 100-200mm zoom lens. That camera was totally manual with no auto settings, auto winder or autofocus but took a great photo if you got it right.
“I had to wait a few years before getting my first 35mm camera, a Pentax K-1000 with a 100-200mm zoom lens. That camera was totally manual with no auto settings, auto winder or autofocus, but it still took a great photo if you got it right.” – Tony Best
Next step in the early 1980s was a swap to Canon and a step up with the AE1 program SLR, again with a 100-200mm zoom lens but still with manual focus. Just as important as the camera was the film used and it was worth spending extra money and buying what I would say is the best colour film ever made – Kodak’s Kodachrome KR25 or KR64 slide film, with its rich colour and realistic fine-gained rendition.
By the late 1980s, Canon had developed the first autofocus cameras but the early examples were a bit hit and miss when trying to shoot fast moving airlines and acquiring focus lock was not easy. Move on a decade and camera makers had overcome most of the early problems. I picked up my first Conon EOS camera, a 650 with the added advantage of auto winder. Turn of the century saw the digital revolution and I waited only two years before moving on to my first digital Canon, the 10D, although I kept on taking Kodachrome slide film, shooting whole rolls of the same aircraft to keep the aviation slide collectors happy until Kodak announced in 2009 that it would no longer manufacture this iconic film.
The introduction of the digital SLR Camera opened up new shooting possibilities, being much more forgiving than film that needed perfect lighting conditions. It was also just in time for the last year of Concorde operations.
Like most aviation photographers I started as a spotter collecting registrations whist on the Queens Buildings roof terrace. Before long though, the note pad was superseded by the camera. What I still find amazing was that before the internet, word would get around about interesting aircraft due to visit LHR. Most of these were for state visits and I remember, for instance, VIP flights by CAAC (now Air China) Boeing 707s were always talked about so we would be ready to capture them on film. Most of the photographers I knew, like me, ended up working in aviation so the hobby turned into a job.
By the 1990s the aviation photographers frequenting Heathrow were all now middle aged with no youngsters entering the hobby. This was probably a result of the views from the roof gardens diminishing as the airport grew to take up the space that once was filled by hundreds of spectators. Also as an enthusiast pursuit, watching aircraft seemed to stand no chance when up against the onslaught of games consoles and the internet age.
But I’m glad to say all was not lost and the hobby was about to make a come back, thanks to the introduction of the digital camera in the early 2000s and the advent of internet aviation photo sites like Airliners.net and JetPhotos.net. Over the last ten years or so, the young started to get the bug and aircraft photography worldwide has caught on more strongly than ever before.
Did you know Heathrow’s cargo terminal is the size of six football pitches? Can you guess how many passengers passed through Heathrow airport’s Terminal 5 in July?
We’ve been sharing fun facts about your Heathrow airport on our @yourHeathrow twitter over the last couple of months and have compiled some of our more popular tweets here.
An average of 46,309 departing and 44,906 arriving passengers passed through T5 each day this July. #yhfunfact
Nearly one (48%) out of every two passengers are just passing through T5 on their way to other destinations. #yhfunfact
BA’s Heathrow cargo terminal is one of the most automated freight handling systems worldwide. It’s the size of 6 football pitches #yhfunfact
Temperatures at Heathrow reached 33.5 °C yesterday [July 20, 2013] – that’s the hottest day this year and hottest recorded since July 20, 2006. #yhfunfact
Airbus A380’s contain 500km of electric cabling. That’s further than the distance from London to Dublin. #yhfunfact
Did you know? There’s a 2.1 km baggage tunnel which links Terminals 5, 3 and 1. This is the largest integrated baggage system in the world #yhfunfact
@jmsld tweeted @yourheathrow The T5 satellite terminal (T5b) is bigger than Stansted Airport #yhfunfact
Do you have fun fact about Heathrow to share or want to know a Heathrow fact? Tweet us @yourheathrow using #yhfunfact or leave a comment below.
Heathrow aircraft have been inspiring photographers for decades, so we decided to take a look at some “retro” and old liveries thanks to Tony Best. Enjoy!
Tony Best has been taking photos at Heathrow since the 1970’s and is a contributor to the Airliners.net forum. Tony recently attended the View Heathrow AvGeek opportunity we held in T4 and we asked him to share with us some of his favourite historical pics from the airport.
A big thank you to Tony Best for sharing this stunning selection of snaps with us.Next week we’ll be sharing Tony’s memories of his photography passion at Heathrow and how things have changed for aviation enthusiasts since the 1970’s.If you’ve got your own classic Heathrow pics we’d love to see them. Tweet them to us @yourHeathrow or tag us on Instagram (@heathrow_airport).
Just over a year ago we launched the yourHeathrow microsite as a way of sharing the news, the people and the events of Heathrow airport. We’re celebrating by taking a look back at the year that was.
The yourHeathrow microsite was launched on June 4 last year in preparation for the BBC’s Airport Live programme, broadcast live from Heathrow each night from June 16-20.
We supported the show with behind the scenes pieces, live chats during and after the show with our staff, and follow-up stories – including taking part #airportlive trending on Twitter in the UK on three out of the four nights.
After the camera lights were turned off…
We quickly moved on to host Top Gear at the Airport as they turned a Lamborghini into an airside operations vehicle.
Not long after, and we were interviewing World Champion Red Bull Stunt Pilot Paul Bonhomme as he recreated Richard Wilson’s revolutionary Slipstream sculpture (which has recently been unveiled in the new Terminal 2).
Our attention was then turned to the ongoing UK Airport Capacity Debate as we broke down the process and what it all meant – including the submission of our third runway options on July 17.
In August 2013, we held Heathrow’s very first Plane Spotters’ Day as we invited a group of aviation enthusiasts to take photos from a rare vantage point above the northern runway. Our guests were able to chat to guest NATS Air Traffic Controllers, Heathrow airside staff, and get a tour of Terminal 2, still under construction at the time.
In conjunction with NATS we hosted a photo competition from the day with Ian Schofield winning a day airside for his troubles (check out the spectacular photos here), and Tim Easter getting a visit up the control tower.
Before long and we were in the middle of the December covering the announcement of the Airports Commission short-listed options – with our North-West option making the cut. Our Heathrow Elf was out and about over the 12 days of Christmas and December 23 saw the launch of the View Heathrow Observation Deck in Terminal 4.
As we transitioned into 2014, we continued to work at building our relationship with aviation enthusiasts with several guest pieces. Gary Claridge-King, James Mellon and Tony Best are among the contributors that we are incredibly greatful to have on board!
Moving through to March, and we hosted FlightRadar24 founder Mikel Robertsson for our aviation enthusiasts to meet as part of our View Heathrow Day. Mick Bacjar won the online competition for best photo from the day, but it would be remiss of us not to mention Matt Reynolds cracking pick (below) that went on to cover our Facebook page.
Since then, we’ve launched a new site area dedicated to Heathrow’s improved 3rd runway plan (Britain’s Heathrow), interviewed an iPad artist, published stunning Heathrow aircraft photographs, and covered the opening of Terminal 2| The Queen’s Terminal (you can see it in pictures here). Oh and did we mention you’ve helped us reach over 200,000 @HeathrowAirport followers on Twitter, and over 100,000 on Facebook in that period?
Over the next week we’ll also have some great retro-plane pics from Tony Best for you!
What can yourHeathrow followers expect during the rest of 2014?
We’ve got some big things install for the rest of 2014 including a Plane Spotters Summer Season campaign, more guest content, more interactive content including on our map, and coverage of “Heathrow’s Vision” in September – stay tuned.
We love to hear from you all, so be sure to tweet us @yourHeathrow, tag us @Heathrow_Airport on Instagram or like us on Facebook. Thanks to all those that have contributed to the first year of yourHeathrow.
yourHeathrow Editorial Team – Chris, Maddie, Will & Marc (with special thanks also to our co-editorial founders Hana and Brooke!)
Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 opened yesterday with a United Airlines flight from Chicago the first to touch down. Explore the day in pictures below.
After four years, £2.5 billion, 34 flights, the opening of 33 stores and 17 restaurants, and over 6,000 passengers, the new Terminal 2 is officially up and running. Click on an image below to see the day in pictures!
Visit us on Instagram (@Heathrow_Airport) for short videos of the crew, the 787 arriving on stand and string quartet Arbutus who helped entertain passengers on the day.
Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 has opened this morning with United Airlines Flight 958 making history as the first flight to use the open terminal.
It was all smiles this morning as United Airlines passengers touched down into the new Terminal 2 from Chicago this morning.What’s so good about T2? We thought we’d give you a snapshot below.
State of the art facilities….
The original Terminal 2 was Heathrow’s first passenger terminal. When it opened in 1955 it was the most modern airport facility of its day, but by the time it closed it was heavily strained by 7 million more passengers a year then initially planned.
By comparison the new Terminal features state of the art facilities, to highlight some of these we’ve put together the last instalment of our #T2Thenandnow series, below:
Significantly, more than 200 organisations across the UK were involved in the project from Bison Manufacturing Ltd in Scotland to Crown House Technologies in the West Midlands. Across the UK, Terminal 2 has supported 35,000 jobs.
The new UK home of Star Alliance…
Terminal 2 provides the Star Alliance with a home for its 23 airlines at Heathrow under one roof, making it the biggest base for the alliance anywhere in the world.
Having all Star Alliance members co-located in Terminal 2 will allow the minimum connecting time between flights to be halved to just 45 minutes, thereby increasing the number of possible flight connections.
Star Alliance facts:
More than 21,900 flights daily flying form 1,329 airports
Flights from 194 countries;
Established in 1997, it is now the second largest alliance grouping at Heathrow.
The non-Star Alliance carriers at Terminal 2 are Aer Lingus, Virgin Atlantic Little Red and Germanwings.
T2 facts and figures…
Lessons learnt from Terminal 5 opening…
Heathrow has learned lessons from colleagues at other airports around the world as well as from our own experience in opening Terminal 5.
By the time Terminal 2 opens, it will have undergone more than 180 trials with 14,000 volunteers taking on the role of passengers and providing comprehensive feedback on their experience.
This has included processing of more than 100,000 bags, and stress testing of the system at 4,000 bags per hour (the expected average during peaks of holiday seasons is 2,400 bags an hour).
Unlike Terminal 5, which opened to more than 40,000 passengers on day one, Terminal 2 is scheduled to welcome only 6,000 passengers on its first day of operation (roughly 10% of the terminal’s capacity.
What’s next for Terminal 2 and Heathrow?
In future, Heathrow plans to extend Terminal 2 over the site of the existing Terminal 1. This will provide enough capacity to eventually replace Terminal 3.
If the Government supports a third runway at Heathrow then Terminal 2 will be extended farther, providing enough capacity to connect Britain to the world for the 21st century.
The old T2…
The original Terminal 2 was Heathrow’s first passenger terminal. When it opened in 1955 it was the most modern airport facility of its day.
Tents and huts were replaced by silver service restaurants, a cocktail lounge and a rooftop viewing gallery. In the years that followed the terminal witnessed the arrival of The Beatles, Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot.
But by the turn of the 21st century Terminal 2 was showing its age. It had been planned for a time without airport security or immigration halls. Originally designed to welcome 1 million people, by the turn of the century it was straining under the weight of 8 million.
Images of the new T2…
Download the full Terminal 2 | The Queen’s Terminal information pack for more details, including a full list of retailers and restaurants: Terminal 2 information pack (PDF – 8MB).
UPDATE: In the final episode of Airport Live, Dan Snow explored what it takes to become an air traffic controller, taking part in some of the tests that help identify certain abilities and aptitudes such as analytical reasoning, quick thinking and calmness under pressure.
Dan moved on to a simulator which replicates the Heathrow control tower to see for himself how an air traffic controller has to consider the weather, constant stream of aircraft and the size of each as well as quickly calculating the distance needed between aircraft coming in to land.
Elsewhere, in the engineering hangar, Dallas “Smudger” Campbell learned how to service a 747-400 aircraft, getting right into the tail and the nose of the aircraft to see close up what the engineers look for during the service. Later in the programme Dallas returned to the flight simulator to try his hand at landing an A380 in a variety of conditions, including zero visibility.
Looking at the evolution of Heathrow, from a row of army tents, to today’s international hub airport, Dan took a tour around Heathrow’s Terminal 2 which is due to open in just under a year. Dan met with John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s development director, who explained the challenges involved in building £2.5billion 21st century terminal in the middle of the world’s busiest two runway airport, while the airport is fully operational.
The final programme also investigated the impact of Heathrow on those living nearby. From the pub landlord who chose to buy a pub near the airport because of the business it would bring, to the head teacher who was concerned about the impact of noise on her pupils, and has adapted by installing innovative ‘Adobe’ shelters, which reduce aircraft noise by 17decibels and allow this children to learn outdoors. The programme also explored how the industry is attempting to reduce aircraft noise through new technologies.
Tonight, Anita Rami was at the forefront of the action with the Heathrow fire service (check out our behind the scenes piece on what it’s like to be firefighter here). She attended a fire drill with the Heathrow fire crew, taking just 2 minutes to extinguish a simulated aircraft fire. Keith Howard, the station manager, gave Anita a tour of Heathrow’s state-of-the-art Panther fire engine, which costs £700,000, can reach speeds of 75mph and can fire water up to 80metres with such power it could knock a car over.
Finally, Kate Humble brought Airport Live to a close by discussing with Simon Calder what the future holds for Heathrow airport and whether expansion at Heathrow, or a new airport holds the solution for increasing airport capacity issue in the UK.
Kate looked back over four days of live action and unprecedented access at Heathrow airport during which time over 5,000 aircraft have taken off and landed at Heathrow.
From turnarounds to new terminals, marshalling to motorways in the sky, ground handlers to go-arounds and air traffic control to aircraft maintenance, Airport Live has been enjoyed by approximately 2.5million viewers. We hope you were one of them and enjoyed this behind the scenes tour of the world’s busiest international airport.
Enjoyed Airport Live? Get involved with yourHeathrow…
If you want to get behind the scenes of Heathrow Airport for yourself check out our interactive map, get involved with our final Airport Live quiz here (until 11.59 June 21), or if you’re a junior airport fan why not get involved with the Colour Heathrow competition to win a remote control aircraft!
7.45pm, June 19: Join our live chat now and tune into Airport Live starting at 8pm.
9.30am, June 17: Preview
On night four, BBC Two’s Airport Live will look at “The costs and the future” for Heathrow, local residents and the United Kingdom.
The show will take a look at what it’s like living under the flight path, what’s being done to reduce aircraft noise, and where it really comes from. We’ve got our very own Matt Gorman available for a live chat from 9pm until 9.45pm to talk all things noise and sustainability for those who want to know more!
During the show, viewers will also get a behind the scenes look at the hottest job around the airport – firefighting. Want to see how these real-life heroes train for potentially death defying situations, then watch the show (also check out our behind the scenes profile online of one of the airport’s firefighter veterans, Gary Barthram).
In the over 50 years Heathrow has been operating, aircraft travel and airports have changed dramatically. With this in mind episode 4 will take a look at the new Terminal 2 project and what goes into building an airport in the 21st century.
What’s on yourHeathrow…
During the show we’ll have a live chat discussion operating, while from 9 until 9.45pm we’ll have Heathrow’s own Matt Gorman to talk everything noise and sustainability related plus answer your questions.
We’ve got a great behind the scenes piece on a veteran firefighter, a look back at highlights from the show, and a comprehensive guide to all the factors behind planning flight paths at an airport.
To get involved send us a tweet @yourHeathrow using the hashtag #airportlive or leave a comment below! We’re also on instagram (Heathrow_Airport) and facebook!