When the Queen of England officially opened Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5, she described it as “a 21st Century gate way to Britain” to the hundreds of dignitaries and airport and construction workers attending the opening ceremony. The £4.3 billion terminal began operation on March 27, 2008 albeit to a rocky start. Designed to streamline traveler checking-in, the baggage handling system did not perform and mishaps occurred. While this was a major PR fiasco for BAA, in a project of this magnitude, it was within the realm of possibility that one major system misfired on day one.
Some 60,000 people have worked a total of 100 million man hours to build Terminal 5 since construction began in September 2002. The project involved diverting two rivers. Building what is claimed to be the UK’s largest free-standing building and tunneling 9 miles for rail and baggage links.
Horton-USA furnished and Horton-UK installed the Platform Screen Doors (PSD) for the new Heathrow Automated People Mover System. The PSDs, along with the Bombardier Train system, had been tested for months by the opening day. It is not surprising that the Horton system performed flawlessly and greatly helped alleviate traveler mishaps.
The PSD system consists of 64 P-X-X-P clear anodize packages with unique flush glazed designed panels developed specifically for the T5 project and became Horton’s 45th system installed worldwide, which include the airports of major cities like Frankfurt, Beijing, San Francisco, Denver, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Las Vegas, Madrid, Kuala Lumpur, Mexico City and Toronto.