Olympics to test airports to limit

23 January 2012 08:33

British rhythmic gymnastics champion and Olympic hopeful Frankie Jones at Heathrow Airport

British rhythmic gymnastics champion and Olympic hopeful Frankie Jones at Heathrow Airport

The London Olympics is set to be the pinnacle of many athletes' careers but it seems as though it could be the biggest challenge for British airports too.

The day after the closing ceremony, August 13, looks set to be the busiest 24 hours in Heathrow's history. Estimates suggest that Britain's largest airport will have to process 35% more departing baggage than normal, with a 45% increase in the number of departing passengers.

Similar increases are predicted for the day before the opening ceremony, July 26. Heathrow's owner BAA expects its costs to rise by £20 million as a result of the Olympics and Nick Cole, Heathrow's head of Olympic and Paralympic Planning, described the London 2012 Games as a massive challenge for the airport.

Special services will be laid on for athletes, including a dedicated Games terminal, set to open on August 13-15. Facility upgrades, including extra lifts for Paralympians, are also part of ongoing plans to deal with the extra pressure of increased passenger numbers.

With Heathrow set to be jam-packed with tourists and sports fans, travellers are advised to take out travel insurance to protect themselves and their luggage.

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