Heathrow airport operator BAA has coped well with the influx of passengers flying into London for the Olympics and is confident it will handle the busiest day of Games flight arrivals so far on Thursday, its CEO said.
London Heathrow – Europe’s busiest airport – expects to handle around 250,000 passengers on Thursday, including around 125,000 arrivals. Around 1,200 athletes are due to fly into Heathrow as part of around 4,000 Games-related arrivals.
“In terms of the Olympics it’s been a case of so far so good,” said BAA chief executive Colin Matthews, who has called the London Games Britain’s biggest peacetime transport challenge.
“Thursday will be the busiest day of the lot for arrivals and we are prepared… as we will be for the very concentrated demand we expect on August 13 which is the day after the closing ceremony and then for the Paralympics.”
Earlier on Wednesday the PCS union called off a planned strike by UK border force staff.
The British government, which has drafted in more people to staff immigration desks during the Olympics, had sought an injunction to stop the planned border force strike.
Earlier this year passengers arriving at Heathrow suffered lengthy delays at immigration and complained of unmanned border control desks and the failure of iris scanners brought in to speed up the processing of arrivals.
Matthews said BAA’s handling of the Olympics influx proved its crisis management processes have improved over the last 18 months.