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Olympic Games 2012 - Articles and news items

An Olympic effort

Issue 4 2012  •  3 August 2012  •  Paul Haskins, NATS General Manager, London Terminal Control

The London 2012 Olympic Games presents a series of significant challenges for air traffic control in the UK, but NATS has been planning and preparing for this event for the past four years. The Games – the Olympics and the Paralympics – will be the single biggest aircraft movement event the UK has ever seen. Tens of thousands more visitors are expected to flock to the UK, along with dozens of Heads of State, the huge games family and significant numbers of business jet movements. The Games promises to be a major challenge for the UK’s leading air traffic control company. Among the challenges we are facing are: Flights for 500,000 overseas spectators and ‘Games family’ members; 150 Heads of State flights; 700 additional commercial flights; 3,000 additional business jet movements; 1,500 helicopter movements into London per day; Mix of traffic including TV broadcast, commercial, private and security-related flights; New airspace procedures and routes introduced for the Olympic period; Security Airspace/restrictions covering South East England.

Stansted’s sporting legacy

Issue 3 2012  •  1 June 2012  •  Tim Hawkins, Planning and Regulatory Director, London Stansted Airport

London Stansted Airport is delighted to be an official provider to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and is very proud to be one of the first to say ‘hello’ to the thousands of visitors and spectators arriving in the United Kingdom. The Games are a unique and amazing opportunity to show what Britain has to offer and can provide a real boost to jobs, businesses and in-bound tourism. As the nearest major airport to the Olympic Village, Stansted has a key role in providing the best possible welcome to those coming to the Games from around the world as well as showcasing to potential new customers what the airport has to offer. Stansted’s terminal and airfield have already been developed to serve 35 million passengers a year. We are currently serving around 18 million passengers a year, so we have the infrastructure and spare capacity that can be utilised during the Games to deal with the uplift in aircraft movements and passenger traffic. This includes the operational capability to accommodate the world’s largest planes, such as the Airbus A380.

An Olympic effort

Issue 2 2012  •  29 March 2012  •  Mark Glover, Commissioning Editor, International Airport Review

London will be hosting the 2012 Olympic Games this summer, an event that will have the eyes of the world focused on England’s capital city. For many, Heathrow Airport will be the gate to the event with spectators and athletes passing through one of the world’s busiest airports. Mark Glover, Commissioning Editor at International Airport Review spoke to Nick Cole, Head of Olympic and Paralympic Planning and Operations at BAA, about the challenges that such an influx of passengers will cause at Heathrow. Mark Glover: What affect are you expecting on the games will have and how are you prepared for these? Nick Cole: I see it as two major issues to deal with; the quantity of passengers and the quantity of bags. The 13th of August 2012 will be a major day for us as it will be the busiest day for departures after the closing ceremony. Our busiest day to date at Heathrow was when 123,000 passengers departed from the airport in one day. On the 13th, we expect to process 137,000. Heathrow is a hub airport so it is geared at 65 per cent take-up through the ‘front door’ of the airport and 35 per cent through the ‘side door’. On the 13th, the dynamic changes tremendously and we will be expecting 87 per cent of passenger intake through the ‘front door’, which will certainly strain our assets.

Let the Games begin

Issue 2 2012  •  29 March 2012  •  Michael Rumpf, Senior Project Consultant, Baggage Operations at Munich Airport Consulting

Handling the traffic of an Olympic Games is a challenge for airports. Not only the volume but also the nature and the special needs of Olympic passengers pose problems for airports and call for special operational procedures to be set up. Having had experience of overseeing the baggage of teams and visitors during the 2004 Olympic Games at Athens’ Eleftherios Venizelos Airport and the 2010 Commonwealth Games at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Airport, I am aware of the challenges that London’s airports will have to deal with. The biggest problem with the Olympic Games are the unbelievable peaks just before the Games are officially declared open and after the closing ceremony. While the inbound traffic is stretched out over the weeks before the games open, it is as though everybody waits for the closing ceremony to finish and then want to fly out immediately afterwards. This stretches the airport’s facilities and systems to their limits, especially considering the higher number of bagsper- passenger ratio during the Olympics. But it is also a chance for airports to prove their ability for pre-planning and handling such events smoothly. The airport is not the centre of the Games but it is usually the first and last point for Olympic visitors. For Heathrow Airport especially, where passengers still associate it with the baggage fiasco that occurred at the opening of T5, it will now be the unique opportunity to prove to the world how efficient the airport terminal has become.


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