Heathrow: Britain’s Busiest Airport, Episode 1 (Series 2)
Last night ITV’s Heathrow: Britain’s Busiest Airport series 2 launched with 3.7 million viewers tuning in! From the airport’s furry animal passengers, to fog delays, rare cargo, security, and Emirates luxury lounge facilities – there was something for everyone! Read about the highlights and check out our extra content, below.
Opening the show was a look at a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight from check-in to take-off with many viewers surprised to learn of their 50kg baggage allowance – and left wondering what people were packing!
With one male passenger not boarding in time, the entire flight had to be delayed to remove their baggage from the flight before it finally departed. While the passenger eventually arrived, the delay had already cost the airline thousands in fines to the company that manages airport slots (not Heathrow).
NATS Air Traffic Controller Gavin was next up explaining the unique challenges Heathrow presents as the busiest two-runway in the world and how his job requires a unique skillset – not a Harvard education (find out more about NATS and what it’s like to be an Air Traffic Controller, here).
Heathrow’s engineers were then on the march to keep things moving in Terminal 2 following difficulties with security lane equipment.
Fog and how it affects operations at Heathrow featured as the next topic with rising Heathrow stars Passenger Services Manager Callum Riseley and Airfield Safety Officer Chris Simpson explaining the challenges in each of their areas posed by bad weather. Nicknamed “Harry Potter” by his work friends, Callum is only 22 and already a manager of two terminals at Heathrow (Read more about Callum here)!
— Heathrow Airport (@HeathrowAirport) May 30, 2016
Next up was the cute, the cuddly, and the furry animals of the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre! Animal Welfare Officer Vicky Howell helped reunite a female passenger with her two beloved pet dogs in the first big “awww” moment of the series while also explaining the Centre’s role.
Without a doubt social media users favourite moment of the night was what came next…
While many are more concerned about ensuring their passport and tickets are on their possession for a flight…less are concerned about the contents of their toolbox! The moment Experienced Terminal 4 security guard Shahid Saleem came across a male passenger who has packed a hammer and power drill in his carry-on luggage set Twitter alight.
For the record – we can confirm you cannot take this type of equipment in your carry-on luggage. Full information on security and baggage restrictions can be found here.
Last but not least, veteran WFS cargo handler “Mick the Hat” as the documentary looked at the often untold story of Heathrow – cargo. The airport is the UK’s busiest port by value with over £100bn of goods travelling via Heathrow each year – more than Felixstowe and Southampton combined.
Mick and the WFS team help transport a rare British racing car while listing the wide variety of items they see transported through Heathrow! As an example, over 50,000 tonnes of salmon are shipped out from Heathrow each year (see more export facts and figures, here)!
Extra content relating to Episode 1:
- Who are NATS? The air traffic control experts…
- What is the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre (HARC?)
- Profile: Security Officer Shahid
- Profile: Vicky Howell, Animal Welfare Officer
- Profile: Callum Riseley, Passengers Services Officer
A look ahead to Episode 2 (6 June)
Enjoy Episode 1? Next week’s episode has even more behind the scenes stories including more from on the airfield itself.
American Airlines check-in and maintenance teams, bird-scaring on the airfield, a new British Airways aircraft and route, as well as alpacas all feature in Episode 2!
We’ll have plenty of extra content right here at yourHeathrow PLUS we’ll be launching an exciting competition for viewers thanks to our friends at American Airlines!
During episode 3 we’ll also be launching our second #Votemeairside competition.