Heathrow's new terminal won't meet 2012 Olympics deadline

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London, Sept 2 : The gateway to the 2012 London Olympics, Heathrow's flagship new terminal, will not be ready for the event.

Heathrow's operators, BAA, asserted that only part of Heathrow East - which will replace Terminals 1 and 2 - will be open for business when competitors and delegates arrive for the games.

"This is yet more embarrassment for BAA, which will leave many of their airline customers fuming," the Telegraph quoted Theresa Villiers, the Tories' transport spokesman, as saying.

"BAA need to get their act together, not just on Heathrow East but on making the airport better across the board.

"The performance of Heathrow will play a major part in determining whether the 2012 Olympics are a success or not and we need a much higher quality of customer service from BAA than we have had over recent months," Villiers added.

The extent of the delay remains unclear, but it is understood that several major building contractors that work is now unlikely to start until next year.

More than 50 airlines at Heathrow are involved in a complex game of musical chairs following in readiness for the new terminal.

However, the shambolic opening of Terminal 5 earlier this year has thrown the timetable into complete disarray.

Heathrow is now considering a variety of alternatives to ease the problems it faces.

The most dramatic change will see the creation of a second satellite building at Terminal 5 by 2010 - at least two earlier than previously planned.

This has been done after British Airways projections were re-evaluated, with the airport predicting that demand will be heavier than previously.

A represenataive for BAA said that other terminals had not been ignored.

"All of our terminals are being refurbished and we hope to have at least part of Terminal East ready in 2012," he said.

ANI

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