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New terminal opens at Heathrow

The New York Times reported Friday a new terminal opened at Heathrow Airport in London in order to help ease congestion at the airport.

The BAA, the airport operator, said the fifth terminal will have faster check-in and security will be more efficient. In addition, there will be 112 retail outlets in the terminal. All this, to help ease traffic in one of the worlds most congested airports.

A crowd of hundreds was present at the inauguration, including dignitaries and construction workers. Queen Elizabeth II announced the new terminal that has a 130-foot-high, 1,300-foot-long main building.

The terminal cost about $8.7 million and will be used mainly by British Airways. The airline is known for losing passengers’ luggage. British Airways loses an average of 26.5 bags per 1,000 passengers, while other airlines lose on average 16.6 bags.

The BBC reported the new terminal will help Heathrow compete with other large airports by allowing passengers more space to get around.

“Terminal 5 marks the start of a new beginning for Heathrow, for BAA and for our millions of passengers,? Sir Nigel Rudd, chairman of BAA, said. (BBC)

There will be 50 airport stands with an increase to 60 in 2010. In addition, there will be a new multi-story parking lot and two satellite buildings.

Terminal 5 will officially open to the public on March 27. The first terminal was opened in 1955 by the queen.