British Airways unveils new $8.4 billion terminal in London

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

LONDON -- British Airways showed off its new terminal at Heathrow Airport on Tuesday, a light-flooded, gleaming white modern facility with some of the latest technology, a first-class lounge with a cinema and a five-story-high wall of windows offering a view of Windsor Castle.

Terminal 5 has 112 stores and restaurants and cost $8.4 billion. It took British airports operator BAA seven years to build as part of an effort to improve the world's busiest international airport in time for the 2012 London Olympics. The terminal will handle its first flight March 27.

Robert Boyle, BA's commercial director, told reporters on a tour of the new terminal that the airline cannot afford to have its reputation compromised by inadequacies at Heathrow.

The terminal, designed to make travel easier and more comfortable, features state-of-the-art equipment such as X-ray machines that don't require travelers to remove their shoes and belts. Unmanned check-in kiosks can also screen a passenger's passport or scan a visa.

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