Thursday, March 22, 2012

Heathrow Airport Unveils Strategy to Handle Olympics Influx

London's Heathrow Airport has announced a £20 million plan to cope with the expected massive influx of passengers during the Olympics.

The extraordinary measures include a check-in at the athletes' village in Stratford and a temporary Olympics terminal to ease pressure while the airport is at full stretch. Some 10,000 flights will divert to other South-East airports to protect Heathrow's schedule for Olympic flights and other regular users. Heads of state and other VIPs will be sent to Stansted or Luton during a month-long ban on private jets and special charters at the country's most crowded airport.

Tourists and regular business fliers shuld be unaffected and should follow airlines' normal guidance on what time to arrive for flights. Olympic Family members will be fast-tracked at passport control with 300 extra UK Border Agency staff manning dedicated "Games lanes". But the airport will not face its biggest challenge until the day after the closing ceremony, August 13, when the airport will be inundated with more than 138,000 passengers and 203,000 bags, in its busiest ever day.

Other key dates will be July 16, when scores of teams fly in as the Olympic village opens, and July 26, when many of the 25,500 sponsors and their guests will arrive for the opening ceremony.

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