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.
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
While you’re here, why not check our picture story on the opening of the new Terminal 2 | The Queen’s Terminal which recently celebrated its 1st birthday!