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13/8/2012 to be Busiest Day Ever at London Heathrow

13/8/2012 to be Busiest Day Ever at London Heathrow

Advise your clients that Monday 13th August 2012, the day after the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games, is set to be London Heathrow Airport’s busiest day ever: 218,000 bags are expected to leave the airport, compared to 160,000 on the previous busy day. Around 15% of the bags will be outsize sporting equipment such as canoes, pole vaults or bikes that cannot be processed through normal baggage systems.

Options being considered to manage the extra demand include baggage drop facilities at the Olympic village, shipping some baggage as freight, and construction of a temporary ‘Olympic terminal’ that would be taken down after the Games.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has confirmed that Heathrow has been named ‘Host Airport’ and official supplier to London 2012 in a Tier 3 sponsorship deal. It is estimated that Heathrow will welcome almost 80% of all Games passengers, including athletes, officials, sponsors, media and spectators.

Heathrow has also launched its own volunteer scheme for major events, with the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games a key part of it. The airport will recruit 1,000 volunteers from local communities and during Games-time they will meet and greet athletes, VIPs and spectators. Volunteers will have the chance to receive a range of London 2012 or Heathrow related rewards. People can sign up at www.teamheathrow.com.

LOCOG Commercial Director Chris Townsend said: “For many athletes, officials and spectators, their first experience of London and the UK will be Heathrow. I’m delighted that BAA and the airport are committed to ensuring that first impression will reflect London 2012 in terms of branding but crucially by providing the warmest of welcomes to the city.”

BAA Chief Executive Colin Matthews said: “We are tremendously proud to be the host airport of the London 2012 Games. Heathrow will be the first and last impression of the London 2012 Games for thousands of people.

“London 2012 will be Heathrow’s greatest challenge. Every part of the airport is working together so we can give the world’s greatest athletes the world’s greatest welcome.

“To deliver a memorable experience for athletes and spectators we will deploy 1,000 Heathrow volunteers. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of something special. Volunteers will be helping spectators find their way, managing fans waiting for a peek of their heroes, and even greeting athletes and VIPs.”

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 50 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 40 years.

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