Ferrovial Agroman to build Heathrow Airport’s new Terminal 2

Press releases

  • The facilities will be operational in the first half of 2014 and will serve 20 million passengers annually.
  • The new terminal, which will replace T2 and the Queens building, will reduce CO2 emissions by 40%.
  • Ferrovial Agroman will work with Laing O'Rourke on its largest project to date in the UK. Ferrovial Agroman has 1.715 billion euro in contracts in Great Britain and Ireland.
Ferrovial Agroman has signed today a contract to build Heathrow Airport's new T2A Terminal. The project will cost 812 million pounds (close to 900 million euro). Ferrovial Agroman will execute the project with UK construction company Laing O'Rourke under a Design and Build contract. The new building will replace the current Terminal 2 and the Queens Building, which date from the 1950s, and it is expected to be inaugurated in the first half of 2014. It will have the capacity to serve 20 million passengers each year and its innovative design will reduce CO2 emissions by 40%. Heathrow, which inaugurated its new Terminal 5 in 2008, is set to become one of Europe's most modern and sustainable airports. The T2A project includes the design and construction of the new Terminal building, aircraft stands, the connection with the T2B satellite building, the access road, a new cooling plant and all related services. Alejandro de la Joya, CEO of Ferrovial Agroman, highlighted the importance of this project: The T2 contract is strategic for Ferrovials international growth. It strengthens the outlook for presenting Ferrovial Agroman with further business opportunities in the near future in the key UK market. BAA and the Star Alliance airlines, which will be based in the new terminal, will participate in the groundbreaking ceremony on 6 May. This is Ferrovial Agroman's largest contract to date in the UK and is a major leap in the company's expansion abroad. Ferrovial Agroman has been operating in the British Isles since 2003 and has 1.715 billion euro in contracts there. The company has been in charge of the entire development of the T2A project since mid-2007. It has wide-ranging experience in building airports, and Ferrovial Agroman's Engineering department headed the multidisciplinary team comprised of Spanish and English companies. Architectural teams at Foster + Partners and Luis Vidal y Asociados designed the new building. The new T2A Terminal is part of the plan to develop and transform Heathrow Airport by 2020. BAA's capital expenditure programme will enable 70% of travellers to use the two new terminals in 2013, while the other 30% will use T1, T3 and T4, which are being completely renovated.

The "greenest" terminal in Europe

The new infrastructure complies with the most demanding sustainability standards, making it the first of Europe's new generation of "green" terminals. To this end, the design has focused on four areas: sustainability (by reducing its carbon footprint by 40% with respect to the existing terminal), versatility, functionality, and minimal impact on airport operations during construction. Among other facilities, there will be an energy efficiency centre near the Terminal running on renewable energies. The centre will regulate the Terminal's climate control, ensuring both comfort and energy efficiency. Terminal 2 will also have emissions-reducing systems, including:
  • Twelve climate control centres distributed uniformly throughout the terminal, with over 100 air conditioning and heat exchange systems, which will allow for the intake and discharge of air via the roof.
  • Solar panels to decrease dependence on non-renewable energy sources.
  • A wave-like roof design with large north-facing windows to flood the building with natural light, thereby reducing artificial lighting.
  • Façades equipped with passive protection systems, the result of a painstaking thermal modelling. Additional capacity at the world's largest international airport The new 180,000 square metre terminal will have capacity for 20 million passengers each year.
In terms of comfort and technology, the new facilities will be on par with T5, which has been recognised as one of the best airport terminals in Europe. Designing the T2A required an analysis of the movement of people, aircraft, material and luggage, the goal being to ensure that all of these flows are handled with the utmost reliability, speed and efficiency, in line with the strictest security standards. The departures concourse will include over 20,000 square metres of shopping area, distributed over two floors, adjacent to the boarding lounges and offering spectacular views of the apron. Signage on the elevators, escalators and access doors will be designed to enable passengers to find their way intuitively, and the transparent façade will reveal the terminal structure on three levels and vertical communication routes. The new T2 will include check-in, security checkpoints and boarding areas all under one roof.
  • Number of check-in desks: 162: traditional check-in, auto check-in and bag drop.
  • Number of security checkpoints:
    • For passengers: 19
    • For personnel: 6
  • Number of aircraft stands:
    • Minimum: 10
    • Maximum: 12
  • Approximate area:
    • Shopping: 15,000 m2
    • Security: 4,500 m2
    • Gates: 9,200 m2

A complex project in the heart of Heathrow

The location of the new Terminal and its associated infrastructure poses another challenge to Ferrovial Agroman and Laing O'Rourke. The building will be located in the heart of Heathrow, between the two runways and their taxiways, which must remain operational, handling up to two operations per minute. The proximity of two of Heathrow's other four terminalsT1 and T3further complicates construction and logistics. A group of experts worked from the outset to design project logistics in view of the need to maintain the airport in operation during construction without jeopardising aircraft or passengers. Issues such as height clearance, runway visibility, analysis and repositioning of affected services, and construction procedures designed to minimise the use of fixed cranes were analysed in detail with a view to obtaining an optimal solution that is acceptable to airport management and air traffic control. Construction of Terminal T2A is even more complicated due to the fact that the only access available for construction materials is the airport's only tunnel, which must be used simultaneously by the usual passenger and freight traffic without impairing vehicle flow. Furthermore, the building will sit above the Underground line connecting the airport with central London. Given the Underground line's age and the tunneling procedures used at the time, the baseline study of the impact of earth movements and construction of the new terminal required exhaustive theoretical studies of how the tunnel arches will behave during decompression and subsequent loading. These theoretical studies will be cross-checked constantly during construction in order to ensure the established safety levels.


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