"I’m delighted that BAA and the airport are committed to ensuring that first impression will reflect London 2012 in terms of branding but crucially by providing the warmest of welcomes to the city."
The London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has confirmed that Heathrow has been named ‘Host Airport’ and official supplier to London 2012 in a Tier 3 sponsorship deal. It is estimated that Heathrow will welcome almost 80 per cent of all Games passengers, including athletes, officials, sponsors, media and spectators.
The Games will be a unique operational challenge for Heathrow. The day after the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games is set to be the airport’s busiest day ever. A total of 218,000 bags are expected to leave the airport, compared to 160,000 on the previous busiest day.
Around 15% of the bags will be oversize sporting equipment such as racing wheelchairs or bikes which cannot be processed through normal baggage systems. Options being considered to manage the extra demand include baggage drop facilities at the Olympic village, shipping some baggage as freight, and construction of a temporary terminal which would be taken down after the Games.
Heathrow has also launched its own volunteer scheme for major events, with the Paralympic Games and Olympic Games a key part of it. The airport will recruit 1,000 volunteers from local communities who during Games-time will meet and greet athletes, VIPs and spectators. Volunteers will have the chance to receive a range of London 2012 or Heathrow related rewards. People can sign up at www.teamheathrow.com
LOCOG Commercial Director Chris Townsend said: “For many athletes, officials and spectators, their first experience of London and the UK will be Heathrow. I’m delighted that BAA and the airport are committed to ensuring that first impression will reflect London 2012 in terms of branding but crucially by providing the warmest of welcomes to the city.”
BAA Chief Executive Colin Matthews said: “We are tremendously proud to be the host airport of the London 2012 Games. Heathrow will be the first and last impression of the London 2012 Games for thousands of people.
“’London 2012 will be Heathrow’s greatest challenge. Every part of the airport is working together so we can give the world’s greatest athletes the world’s greatest welcome.
“To deliver a memorable experience for athletes and spectators we will deploy 1,000 Heathrow volunteers. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of something special. Volunteers will be helping spectators find their way, managing fans waiting for a peek of their heroes, and even greeting athletes and VIPs.”