It’s the send-off London Heathrow have been preparing for seven years for, according to BAA chief executive Colin Matthews, the day after the close of London 2012.
Today the airport will see off around 116,000 people, compared to around 95,000 departing passengers on an average day. It will be the first use of the specially constructed temporary Olympic terminal, which is around three times the size of an Olympic swimming pool, and has been transformed to look like a London park. It has plants, park benches, replica gas lights, trees and model stags. London’s skyline is printed on the walls and some Heathrow staff are even dressing up as park wardens for the day.
The departing athletes will be invited to record their favourite memory of the Games and hang it on a tree, which will be displayed at the airport after the games. The comments will also be put into books to be given to the 1,300 Heathrow volunteers.
BAA chief executive Colin Matthews said: “We want to continue the feel-good factor of the Games at the airport on our busiest day for departing athletes. I hope our Games Terminal park will bring a smile to passengers’ faces and contribute to final happy memories of London.”
“Olympic Village check-in went according to plan yesterday with thousands of bags being processed at Heathrow overnight. Today’s departures present a fresh challenge with new facilities like the Games Terminal being used for the first time. We have been preparing for seven years to deliver a farewell of which Great Britain can be proud.”