Heathrow Terminal 1 closes after 47 years of operation #T1LightsOff


By Heathrow

Published 30th June 2015

Home > Must See > Heathrow Terminal 1 closes after 47 years of operation #T1LightsOff

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Last night, Terminal 1 officially closed its doors to passengers after 47 years of operation. While this marks the end of an era, it’s also an exciting sign of progress and new plans for Heathrow’s future. Today, we’re sharing on our favourite stories of the terminal’s past, present, and what is yet to come…

Terminal 1 first opened to passengers in 1968 and was the biggest short-haul terminal of its kind in Western Europe, serving domestic and European flights, as well as services by BKS Air Transport and Cambiran Airlines (old airlines which have now ceased operations).

Among our favourite historic images of Heathrow are those of the Queen officially opening T1 on the 17th of April 1969. Royal openings are always well documented because of the VIP guests in attendance, but also give us a rare snapshot of the airport’s past.



British Airways (formally BEA) were the first airline to operate from the terminal and, symbolically, will be the last as BA 970 departs for Hanover this evening

In 2005, T1 underwent substantial redesign and redevelopment, doubling the size of its departure lounge and created additional retail and seating spaces to enhance the passenger experience.

In 2012, Terminal 1 played an important role in welcoming Olympic athletes to the UK.  Gate 20 was transformed into a London Park with memorabilia from the Olympic Games and the Heathrow Games Terminal. The memorabilia will soon be re-located to another terminal so passengers may continue to enjoy this unique feature for years to come.

Despite its age, Terminal 1 was always at the forefront of aviation and passenger experience technologies, including self-service check-in and baggage systems.

Fun facts:

  • T1 covers an area of 74,601 square meters

  • Over 60% of flights went to UK and EU countries

  • The terminal managed 26% of all connecting passengers at Heathrow

  • Catered for approximately 13.8 million passengers on 123,000 flights annually

  • T1 isn’t the oldest terminal at Heathrow. T3 and the old T2 were the first to open, but were renamed with the addition of Terminal 1.

  • In the early days of T1 passengers wishing to fly to Glasgow could simply turn up and pay on board BEA’s service!

  • The terminal operated BA Concorde charter flights – champagne specials which simply flew around the Bay of Biscay and back again

Share your memories of T1 with us on Twitter @heathrowairport , or on Instagram @heathrow_airport using hashtag #T1lightsoff

The 5 winners of our #Votemeairside Airside Tour Competition have been selected. The competition saw over 300 entries, 13,000 votes and over 24,000 unique views by users!

The winners will now get a money-can’t-buy airside tour including special access to a Qantas A380 and a visit up the control tower thanks to NATS!

We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who entered and voted in the competition! We were truly taken aback at the sheer number of stunning images received and are now already working on a follow up competition so stay tuned.

The 5 winners in vote order are:

Graeme Wright

Opr: Virgin Atlantic Airways
Type: Boeing 747-400
Loc: taking off from London Heathrow operating flight VS19 to San Francisco

Lewis Steeper

QF1 departing after a heavy rainstorm to Dubai, fortunately the sun appeared causing this rainbow. Once in a lifetime photo.

Carolyn Royds

Enormous Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines on this beautiful bird, with some hefty landing gear too #avgeek

Reshma Vora

F-WWCF at LHR for the BA open day taken by myself.

Anna Tiffin

F-WWCF at LHR for the BA open day taken by myself.


To celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, the Red Arrows performed a very special fly-past of Heathrow yesterday! Our team raced up onto the office roof to capture the event – enjoy!

Heathrow also partnered with local councils and businesses to sponsor a River Relay race taking place in honour of the anniversary on 13 and 14 June, organised by Thames Alive. Stopping at various points from Hurley Riverside to Runnymede Pleasure Ground, the event recounted the story of the Magna Carta while young relay bearers aboard the Royal Shallop “Jubilant” and other craft joined the flotilla as it traveled downstream.

“We have close ties with local communities and are proud to honour key moments in our history. The Magna Carta was signed close to where the airport is today and we want to celebrate what it has done to make Britain the dynamic and open society we enjoy.” Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye

The Magna Carta is one of the most celebrated documents in British history. Most of its 63 clauses granted by King John dealt with specific grievances relating to his rule. However, buried within them were a number of fundamental values that proved highly adaptable in future centuries, including the 39th clause which gave all ‘free men’ the right to justice and a fair trial.

Some of the Magna Carta’s core principles are echoed in the United States Bill of Rights (1791) and in many other constitutional documents around the world, as well as in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the European Convention on Human Rights (1950).

Heathrow Airport has been awarded Airport Council International Europe’s (ACI Europe) prestigious Best Airport Award for the second time and won its first Eco-Innovation Award.

The “Best Airport, over 25 million passengers” accolade acknowledges the dedication of Heathrow’s frontline staff in giving passengers excellent service and the transformation of the airport following the completion of an £11bn investment programme.

Heathrow beat other European hubs in Amsterdam and Paris to the title. It comes after a double record-breaking year for the airport with 73.4 million passengers passing through and the achievement of its highest ever passenger satisfaction scores.

Recognising Heathrow’s commitment to environmental responsibility, the airport was also handed the Eco-Innovation Award.

Through a range of measures that include the world’s largest single site car-share scheme and improvements to public transport provision, Heathrow has reduced air pollution by 16% over 5 years.

John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive of Heathrow Airport, said the awards are a great recognition of the thousands of people working hard behind the scenes to make the UK’s hub airport even better.

“I am immensely proud to receive these awards on behalf of all the people who work every day to make Heathrow better for its passengers.” – Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye

“I am immensely proud to receive these awards on behalf of all the people who work every day to make Heathrow better for its passengers,” Holland-Kaye said.

“Heathrow plays a hugely important role both as the front door to the UK and also by connecting British people, exporters and exports to markets across the globe.  Our efforts to make this one of the best airports in the world have been recognised and we now need permission to expand Heathrow to take our country even further.”

How an expanded Heathrow will look.

See our vision to build an even bigger and better Heathrow, brought to live in video, here.

Our newest terminal, Terminal 2 | The Queen’s Terminal, was opened exactly 1 year ago today (23 June) by Her Majesty the Queen! For those that missed it, here’s a recap with some of the great photos from the day. Enjoy!

Significantly, between now and 2032, a raft of improvements including Crossrail, Western Rail Access, HS2 access via Old Oak Common and Southern Rail Access will be delivered to make it easier and quicker to get to Heathrow by rail.

Heathrow is already the UK’s best connected airport by road, rail and air – an expanded Heathrow will be even stronger at the heart of the UK’s transport network.

When are these improvements planned?

  • Crossrail: The full opening of Crossrail in 2019 will bring the heart of London’s financial district and much of East London within a 60 minute catchment area for Heathrow.

  • HS2: By 2032, Heathrow will be connected to the High Speed Rail network via a new passenger interchange at Old Oak Common providing fast access to the Midlands and improved connectivity to Northern England and Scotland.

  • Southern Rail access: This project will improve connectivity between Heathrow and South London, Surrey, Hampshire and the South Coast.

  • Western Rail access: Providing fast direct access to Heathrow by 2021 for passengers from Slough, Reading and the Thames Valley and further improve journey times to the South West and South Wales.

  • Piccadilly Line upgrades: Will deliver improved frequency and faster journey times.

Direct and faster journeys to London

Heathrow offers flexibility, reliability and choice for passengers to and from London with a range of alternatives in times of disruption. There will be fast and direct public transport connections to Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Clapham Junction, Waterloo, Liverpool Street and Canary Wharf with a single interchange to Victoria and Euston. Heathrow will offer the best connectivity of any London airport to London’s major transport nodes.

It’s not just rail…find out how the M25 is set to improve to

Heathrow has launched a new CGI video showing how its expansion plans will act as a catalyst for improving one of the busiest motorways in the UK – the M25.

Menzies baggage handler Ian “Ginger” Goldswain was a social media sensation during episode 2 of Britain’s Busiest Airport – Heathrow as twitter users got behind the airport veteran after hearing he’d never been on an A380! We teamed up with Qantas to surprise “Ginger” the other day, watch and find out what happened next!

Ginger was so popular during last week’s episode that we also thought we’d fine out more about this like-able airport character, so we caught up with him for a quick interview. The veteran baggage handler was born and bred in local Windsor and now resides in Bracknell.

What was it like seeing yourself on TV last week?

Ginger: Seeing myself on the telly was brilliant, all my Facebook friends watched me and all said they thoroughly enjoyed it and I was amazed at how confident I came across because I was so nervous before the filming. About the support and reaction that I had on Twitter last week was amazing,I only new of this when my line manager at work told me about this and couldn’t believe it…me a super star on Twitter! I really didn’t have a clue.

Lots of people really got behind you on Twitter last week, were you surprised at the reaction your appearance on Britain’s Busiest Airport –Heathrow created?

The reaction on twitter last week was amazing, and I only found out about it all when my line manager at work told me about it, as I’m not a Twitter user, and I couldn’t believe it!

Talk us through your tour on the Qantas A380, and the surprise tickets to Dubai!

Initially I was worried that I’d upset someone as my line manager asked me to stay after my finish time to talk to the Qantas management team about the TV show.

The Qantas crew and management team came and picked me up from our offices and took me to their A380 where they surprised me by saying they were going to take me for a tour of the plane!

As we walked onto the aircraft I was so amazed at the size of her, the Qantas Crew came over and said hi before taking me into the Cockpit and geez i have not seen so many buttons and switches in my life! How the captain knows which ones to turn on and of is beyond me – talk about space age, its like looking at a game console!

It was great sitting in the captain’s seat but how they stay comfy sitting in them must be very hard because there’s not that much room where their legs go. After seeing the cockpit I went and had a look at how the rich live in first class, and trust me they do live very well.

I had a lovely lay down in the first class seats and boy they are so comfortable – it’s great they even have their own Tv’s and its like having your own little bedroom on board.

After that I got to see the premium economy seats, or beds, however you would like to use them and trust me all this laying down i was starting to think if only one day I could take a flight on the A380, but I suppose I could only dream.

We then went to see the Economy section but they never told me we had to walk miles – at least that’s what it felt like because that A380 is so huge.

When we finally got to the back of the aircraft they asked me to sit down and I thought we were just going to have some more photos when all of a sudden I was given this big cardboard ticket and told they were giving me a trip for two to go to Dubai on the Qantas A380!


When we finally got to the back of the aircraft they asked me to sit down and I thought we were just going to have some more photos when all of a sudden I was given this big cardboard ticket and told they were giving me a trip for two to go to Dubai on the Qantas A380!

Now I don’t often get stuck for words but this was such a wonderful surprise that I was absolutely gobsmacked and I just didn’t have any words to say, but I was so happy and couldn’t wait to get home and tell my lovely girlfriend.

You wanted to thank a few people…

Firstly I’d like to say a very BIG thank you to all of the management and crew of Qantas Airways for a wonderful tour on your gorgeous A380 and best of all, the brilliant tickets to Dubai.

Secondly I’d like to say a big thank you to everybody on twitter that wrote and asked about me that was so kind of you all!

Thanks also to the team from RAW production team for choosing me to take part in the series. I’d never been on “telly” before and it was brilliant fun.

How did you start working at Heathrow, and what’s your favourite part about working at the airport

I’ve been working at Heathrow since 1990, and I got my job through my old dad, bless him. He always talked about how great it was working up the airport so I just wanted to follow in his shoes and see what it was like for myself – I have never looked back and love working at Heathrow!

My favourite thing about working up the airport is the camaraderie that you get and the laughs that we all have. I also love watching the planes coming and going.

What would you say to anyone wanting to work at Heathrow?

One piece of advice that I would give to anybody wanting to work at any airport is be prepared to work in ALL WEATHERS and be prepared to meet great and interesting people from all walks of life. It’s a really interesting place to work.

What do you do with your spare time?

In my spare time I love going fishing and looking after my gorgeous little step-daughter Jenny. I used to have a great dog called Doody who was my fishing partner and he’d follow me around everywhere but, god bless him, he passed away.

Heathrow is a family affair for this veteran of 38.5 years! Featured in episode 3, Baggage Service Manager Chris Earley shares some insight into what’s it’s like to be part of one of our busiest teams!

How did you get into your job and why?

Chris Earley: I started on Trolleys, which is now known as Passenger Services, back in 1976. I was promoted over the years until BAA took responsibility of Baggage in 1997, which is where I’ve worked ever since. The role has evolved into what we see today and we cover the entire airport.

What’s a day in the life of your job really like?

Exciting! It’s sometimes difficult juggling everything and keeping up with the changes to infrastructure- if you take a few days off, you come back and something new has been built!

What’s the hardest part of your job?

Coping with disruptions and witnessing large amounts of missed bags and seeing things like children’s buggies, etc., knowing the passenger won’t see it when they arrive.

Favourite thing about working at an airport?

The variety of the job- no day is the same and you meet new people every day.

Favourite thing about your job?

When I experience a difficult day but get through it successfully with minimal disruption to passengers, that is very satisfying.

What has been a particularly memorable moment for you while working at Heathrow?

Meeting the Queen when she opened the Piccadilly line into Heathrow in 1977.  Also, working on the set of Minder on the T4 forecourt with George Cole and Dennis Waterman was great!

What is one piece of advice you would share with our passengers?

Make your experience of Heathrow part of your holiday because that’s where it starts! Oh- and use soft luggage, not hard! Soft luggage survives the journey better!

Where are you from?

West Drayton, born and bred and still live there today.

Any children or pets?

Two sons (twins) and two grandchildren. One son works at T5 on Passenger Services and the other works in IT outside of the airport. I also have two Rottweilers who are cuddly teddy bears! Sadly, I lost one recently to cancer.


Coin collecting, fishing, riding my Harley Davidson, and I also belong to the Thames Valley Chapter, who socialise a lot and do a lot for charity, e.g.  toy runs to John Radcliffe Hospital, etc.

Favourite film/TV show?

Alien & Predator. For TV, Red Dwarf and, more recently, Game of Thrones

Favourite music band?

Queen and, recently, Sam Smith

Anything else you would like us to know?

Heathrow is a family affair for me- I met my wife at Heathrow and the majority of both sides of our family have worked here. My mum worked in the control tower canteen and my father was a porter in the Oceanic Building (the old Terminal 3).

Promoter’s name and address

1.1 The promoter is Heathrow Airport Limited [CCM1] of The Compass Centre, 1st Floor, Nelson Road, Hounslow, Middlesex, TW6 2GW (“Heathrow”).

2 How to participate

2.1 Entry is open to United Kingdom residents aged 18 and over with a valid Government issued passport together with proof of address.

2.2 No purchase necessary.  Entry is free of charge and Heathrow shall not charge any person for entering or attempting to enter the competition.

2.3  To be eligible for the prize the entrant must submit their one (1) chosen photo via the entry portal available at https://your.heathrow.com/bba-competitions/airsidetour or http://lhravgeekcomp.pgtb.me/MK9pxw. The photo must depict an aircraft at Heathrow Airport. The Entrant must either own the copyright in the image or have the express written permission of the copyright owner to use the image.

2.4  Participants should submit their entries along with their:

(a) name,

(b) email address

(c) contact number; and

(d) If the participant does not own copyright in the photograph, clear attribution of the copyright owner.

2.5 One entry per participant is permitted. Submission of duplicate entries will render all previous entries as invalid for the duration of the competition.

2.6 Entries that do not comply with paragraphs 2.1[CCM3] , 2.3 and 2.4 above will not be valid..

2.7 Misrepresentative or fraudulent conduct or  any breach of these terms and conditions by a participant will void an entry.

2.8 The promoter does not accept:

a) responsibility for competition entries that are lost, mislaid, damaged or delayed in transit, regardless of cause, including, for example, as a result of any postal failure, equipment failure, technical malfunction, systems, satellite, network, server, computer hardware or software failure of any kind; or

b) proof of transmission as proof of receipt of entry to the competition.

2.9 Participants acknowledge that, subject to their agreement, Qantas may use the details supplied under paragraph 2.4 for promotional or marketing purposes.
3 Start date

3.1 This competition will be open from 9.30pm (BST) Thursday 11 June 2015 and votes and shares[CCM4]  submitted on or after this date, but before the closing date  will be valid.

4 Closing date

4.1 The closing date for this competition will be 23:59 (BST) on 25 June 2015 and any votes and shares after this date will not be valid and shall be disqualified.

5 Selection of the winner

5.1 Entries will be accepted through submission via the following webpage link https://your.heathrow.com/bba-competitions/airsidetour or http://lhravgeekcomp.pgtb.me/MK9pxw.

5.2 The five (5) winners will be those with the five (5) highest numbers of valid votes on their images within the voting mechanism, who fulfill all of the eligibility requirements.

5.3 The winners of the competition will be contacted within 48 hours of the competition closing by a Heathrow representative.

5.4 Heathrow’s decision regarding the result of the competition is final and no correspondence will be entered into by Heathrow in relation to its decision.

5.5 An alternative winner of the competition may be selected (and a winner’s entry invalidated) if:

a) any winner is not in communication with Heathrow within seven (7) days of being first notified;

b) If any winner’s entry does not comply with any of the entry requirements of paragraph 2; or

c) If any winner is unable to complete the necessary requirements and meet the restrictions as outlined in paragraph 7.

6 Prize

6.1 The prize consists of an airside tour of Heathrow Airport, during a period of approximately 12pm to 6pm on a date to be confirmed by Heathrow for five (5) individual winners of the competition.

6.2 The prize is not transferable and non-exchangeable. No cash alternative is available.

7 Restrictions and requirements

7.1 Directors, management, employees and their immediate families of Qantas Airways Limited (Qantas) or Heathrow Airport Limited or NATS, and registered travel companions of employees of Qantas are not permitted to enter.

7.2 The competition is not open to any companies, agencies or family members of employees directly connected with the creation or administration of this promotion.

7.3 On the date the prize is delivered, the winners will be responsible for:

a) ensuring their availability;

b) organising their travel to Heathrow Airport;

c) presenting a valid passport; and

d) complying with any additional requirements related to accessing security restricted areas at Heathrow Airport.

7.4 The prize must be taken as stated and no compensation will be payable if a winner is unable to use the prize as stated. A prize cannot be transferred to any other person, unless agreed to by Heathrow.

7.5 The winners may be required to take part in reasonable publicity resulting from this competition. The winner further agrees that the Promoter may use their name, image and town or county of residence to announce the winner of this competition and for any other reasonable and related promotional purposes. The winners shall grant Heathrow Airport Limited, Qantas Airways Limited and NATS an irrevocable, royalty free license to use their winning image and any image captured during the day, either of the winners or published by the winners, for reasonable publicity purposes.

7.6 Winners shall be escorted for the duration of the airside tour and will be required to comply with the Heathrow Bye-Laws and any instructions issued by representatives of Heathrow, NATS [or Qantas] during the day or else face immediate expulsion from the airport.

7.7 Each winner is permitted to bring only one handheld camera, two photographic lenses and one smartphone on the day. Tripods and other filming apparatus will not be permitted. Winners may only take photographs or videos within a security restricted area when advised and permitted by Heathrow representatives. Winners shall not publish any photographs or footage taken within a security restricted area without the express written consent of Heathrow.

8 Personal data

8.1 Any personal data provided by an entrant will remain confidential to Heathrow and will not be disclosed to any third party without the entrant’s prior consent, except that Heathrow 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+ and Instagram), as well as providing the prize winner’s details to third parties for the purposes of administering the competition including but not limited to the actual providers of the prize.

8.2 Heathrow will be using the third party provider SHORTSTACK.COM to administer the competition. All personal data provided by an entrant (Twitter Profile link and Facebook profile links) will be used by Heathrow solely for the purposes of administering the competition and will be securely destroyed from SHORTSTACK.COM within 120 days of the closing date, unless the entrant has elected to receive further promotional or marketing information. Further information on SHORTSTACK.COM’s privacy policy can be viewed via their website: http://www.shortstack.com/privacy-policy/.

9 General

9.1 Heathrow reserves the right to cancel, modify or supersede the competition, and in particular the prize, at any time if, in Heathrow’s sole discretion, the competition is not capable of being conducted as specified.

9.2 This competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

9.3 By submitting an entry you are agreeing to be bound by these terms and conditions.

9.4 Insofar as is permitted by law, Heathrow, its agents or distributors will not in any circumstances be responsible or liable to compensate the winner or accept any liability for any loss, damage, personal injury or death occurring as a result of taking up the prize except where it is caused by the negligence of the Promoter, its agents or distributors or that of their employees. Their statutory rights are not affected.

9.5 These terms and conditions shall be governed by the laws of England and subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.

Heathrow has today (11th June 2015) released traffic figures showing it’s busiest ever May as the Airports Commission prepares to deliver it’s recommendation.

Heathrow saw its busiest ever May with a record 6.34 million passengers travelling through the UK’s only hub, an increase of 1.7% on May 2014. May also set new single-day passenger records for arrivals (131,327 on 31st May), departures (129,059 on 22nd May) and overall (246,516 on 22nd May).

Larger, quieter aircraft continued to be a driver for passenger growth at Heathrow. Seats per aircraft increased 2.5% to 207.7 while passengers per aircraft rose 1.4% to 154.2.

Within emerging markets, passenger volumes were particularly strong to China which was up 19.2%, Mexico up 15.9% and Brazil up 11.2%. Middle East traffic was also up 2.3% as carriers added new A380s to these segments.

Cargo volumes at Heathrow the UK’s biggest port by value recorded growth of 4.9% over the past 12 months, including increases of 44% to Mexico, 21% to Brazil, 20% to Turkey, 11% to India and 5% to China.

“Don’t overlook Britain’s exporters”

David Wells, CEO of the Freight Transport Association wrote to the Prime Minister last month urging him to not to overlook Britain’s exporters in the airports debate.

“The diminution of Heathrow as an international air cargo hub favours neither the country nor the economy…the decline of Heathrow as a viable global cargo hub will increase the costs of freight and logistics across the UK.”- Freight Transport Association CEO David Wells

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:

“Heathrow’s new expansion plan is the best value for money investment government can make to get the economy moving – in fact, it is almost entirely privately funded. The growth in passengers and exports to emerging markets shows how only Heathrow expansion will keep Britain at the heart of the global economy. The Airports Commission has confirmed it can be delivered responsibly – within carbon and air quality limits and with fewer people impacted by noise than today. Let’s get on with it.” Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye



By Heathrow

Published 11th June 2015