London 2012: Heathrow Olympics terminal completed

The new Olympics Terminal has been officially handed over to Heathrow Airport's operators, BAA.

The temporary structure, put up in a staff car park, will cater for athletes and officials involved with London 2012 and be used for the three days after the closing ceremony on 12 August.

It will handle more than 10,000 athletes and 37,000 bags.

BAA has said 13 August will be the airport's busiest day ever.

'Normal levels of service'

The terminal, roughly the size of three Olympic swimming pools, took five months to build.

It will have 31 check-in desks and seven security lanes.

Once athletes and officials have gone through these they will be bussed to their departure terminals.

BAA believes it will take 30 minutes for athletes to pass through.

Nick Cole, Heathrow's head of planning for the Games, said: "On the 13th of August it will be our busiest day ever.

"We expect to process 138,000 passengers and well over 200,000 bags."

He added: "The whole reason we developed this terminal was to put 10,000 athletes through this facility.

"What that then means is terminal one, three, four and five will feel just like a busy summer day so passengers will receive their normal high levels of service."

Aviation minister Theresa Villiers said: "As the official airport of the Games, Heathrow will play a key part in the success of London 2012 and I have been impressed by this new Terminal which will give athletes their final impression of the country and the Games."

The terminal will be decommissioned immediately after the three days.

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