The decision to delay the move of British Airways’ long-haul flights to Terminal 5 could have a knock-on effect on the construction of the East Terminal to replace Terminal 2.
Airlines, including British Airways rival BMI, were due to move from Terminal 2 to take up BA’s space in Terminal 1 on 30 April. This date has now been put back by at least six weeks, which threatens to delay demolition of the -second terminal to make way for Heathrow East.
A BMI spokesman said: “If we don’t achieve a satisfactory resolution of the situation then legal action is one of the avenues open to us.”
A spokesman for BAA said: “We are assessing the impact it will have at the moment. It is six weeks in a long construction period and we’re hoping we’ll be able to recover and have everything done by the end of 2012.”
It is hoped that the first phase of the job will be finished in time for the new structure to act as a gateway for the 2012 Olympics. When fully complete Heathrow East will replace the current Terminals 1 and 2.
A joint venture of Laing O’Rourke and Ferrovial - parent company of Heathrow owner BAA - is set to carry out the job.
Preliminary work on the project has already started. Balfour Beatty is building the £350 million Midfield Pier - capable of holding 16 aircraft.
The job includes a cut and cover tunnel linking the Midfield Pier and Heathrow East, as well as passenger transfer travelators and cut and cover tunnels for the track transit system.
A Balfour Beatty spokes-woman said: “The delays at Terminal 5 have not affected our work.”
What’s happening at heathrow
Terminal 5 Completed but not fully operational
Terminals 3 and 4 Renovation ongoing
Terminal 2 To be demolished this year making way for Heathrow East
Terminal 1 To remain open until Heathrow East is fully finished at the end of 2012