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Improving Heathrow

Family with luggage in Heathrow Terminal 5

Making every journey better

Since 1955 Heathrow has been connecting people from around the globe, making us the world’s busiest international airport. In recent years, since 2003, £11bn has been invested in improving Heathrow. This represents one of the largest private sector investments in UK infrastructure over this period – making every journey better as well as providing jobs and supporting the UK’s economic growth. We’ve opened new terminals such as Terminal 5, extensively refurbished Terminals 1, 3 and 4 and made lots of improvements right across the airport. We’re now building a new Terminal 2 which will open to passengers in 2014. And looking forward to the next five years to 2019, we’ll continue to invest in making every journey better.

You can already experience the difference this investment has made with a quicker arrival, smoother departure and a better connection. Behind the scenes, we are also improving the journey of your luggage by investing £900 million to create the world's largest integrated baggage system that helps make sure you and your baggage ‘take off’ and are reunited on time. While we’re working on making your journey better we’re committed to making sure your journey is a smooth one and our airport continues to operate as normal.

We always look forward to welcoming to you Heathrow so you can see the difference for yourself.

Heathrow 3rd Runway plans

Terminal 1

Next time you fly from Terminal 1, you will notice we have opened up the check-in area to reveal a brighter and more spacious facility for using self-service check-in technology or dropping off your bags.

On your arrival back to Heathrow at Terminal 1, you will notice the passport control and baggage reclaim spaces have been given a more contemporary feel as you pass through to our arrivals hall.

Some £60 million has been invested in improving your journey through Terminal 1. We also have plans to replace the building completely around 2016 and until then our team are proud to welcome you to their terminal, home of the Star Alliance.

Terminal 2: The Queen's Terminal

Our newest terminal has been designed from the outset with the needs of the individual passenger at its heart and with sustainability as a guiding principle.

Terminal 2 will improve flight connections by bringing partner airlines closer together. Its clean, 21st Century design provides more natural light and space than you may be used to seeing in an airport.

And it will be an extraordinary space in its own right – great for airlines, for the people who work there and, most of all, for every single passenger.

Terminal 3

Each year we welcome around 18.9 million passengers to Terminal 3. We know how important a smooth arrival and departure is to your journey and we have invested £106 million to improve your Terminal 3 experience.

A new landscaped forecourt and check-in extension was unveiled in 2007 and you will experience the difference yourself in Zone A of the terminal. Next time you fly from Terminal 3, you can also take advantage of one of the brand new self-service kiosks and a contemporary check-in area.

Our commitment to improving your journey through Terminal 3 extends to the security search areas, which are being developed to become the largest at Heathrow. You can also expect your arrival back to Heathrow to be smoother following a £22 million investment in the passport control and baggage reclaim spaces.

Terminal 4

Passengers who regularly travel from Terminal 4 will have noticed that the building has undergone a significant transformation following an investment of £185 million since 2007. From the moment you approach the terminal by car, you will notice a brand new façade has been installed, creating a light and modern welcome for our visitors.

If you fly from Terminal 4 in the evening, take time to enjoy the translucent canopy outside the check-in area with specially designed lighting. Your check-in has also been upgraded for you with 6,000m2 of space and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Terminal 4 is now home to 45 airlines, and has a new, fresh look in the security screening area and new accommodation for A380 aircraft. Our work on Terminal 4 is not yet complete. Next time you fly with us you may notice work being carried out in the connections and passport control areas – just another way we're working to make your journey better.

Terminal 5

Terminal 5 has been rated by passengers as one of the best terminals in Europe and we are continuing to invest in making passengers journeys better with an extension. This new satellite building provides an additional 12 aircraft piers for Terminal 5, minimising the time you spend transferring to and from your flight and taxiing to the runway.

With large-scale glass panels overlooking the Heathrow's runways, you can enjoy spectacular views of the airport as well as speedy connections through to the rest of Terminal 5 using our underground Track Transit System (TTS). We are confident that this latest addition to Terminal 5's development will make your travel experience even smoother.

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Our history

Avro Lancastrian, 1946

From humble beginnings, Heathrow grew to be a major world airport.

Heathrow's history

Heathrow expansion: find out more