The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 95 (2017) > Issue 5 > Heathrow Airport Terminal 2B, Phase 2 – a new pier facility constructed in an operational airside en
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Heathrow Airport Terminal 2B, Phase 2 – a new pier facility constructed in an operational airside environment

With London’s Heathrow Airport recently celebrating its 70th year of commercial operation and looking forward to further expansion, this paper describes a major contribution to its passenger handling infrastructure.

As part of the redevelopment of the eastern side of Heathrow Airport, destined to become the new Terminal 2 (The Queen’s Terminal), Mott MacDonald was appointed to deliver the civil and structural engineering scheme and detailed design for an operationally complex pier, intended to serve 10M passengers a year.

The new pier was delivered on a physically constricted site inside the high-security (airside) zone of this major international airport. Building in such a location creates a singular set of conflicting demands, headed by the need to minimise the risks to aircraft operations through carefully planned and executed construction operations that avoid potential security breaches or alarms. This manifests itself in increased logistical challenges, including the need to security screen all staff, plant and materials entering the construction site, manage the execution of major construction works next to passenger aircraft operations, and overcome the effects of aircraft noise on safe working practices.

These exacting circumstances demanded an equally singular design approach, focused on the use of appropriate, dependable, on-site construction methods and maximising off-site fabrication. All this was to be achieved while working with the architect to create a passenger experience consistent with a leading international hub airport.

Author(s): D. Podesta (Mott MacDonald)