Contractors are being warned that construction of the £1.5bn Heathrow East project could be delayed by up to a year. Potential delays are being blamed on the difficulties surrounding T5’s opening and the knock-on effect it had on BA’s plans to relocate all of its flights into the new terminal.
One contractor told Contract Journal: "We were all geared up to start this year, but have now been told that work won’t start until late 2009.
But it’s also said that a £350m airport pier could be repackaged to allow the airport to open part of the terminal on time. The “midfield pier”, to be built by Balfour Beatty, could be brought forward and opened as the first phase for 2012.
Heathrow East will be built on the site of the current Terminals 1 and 2, which are due to be demolished. But British Airways was late moving all of its operations from the existing terminals into Terminal 5, and the demolition has been put back as a result.
A BAA spokesperson denied media reports that the overall Heathrow East programme would be delayed for up to a year, but told Building that “elements of the programme are delayed.”
He said: “It isn’t a wholly sequential programme. The production design management is still continuing, and we have been able to work intensively on other parts of the scheme. The aim is still to have at least part of the new terminal open by 2012”.
Opening the midfield pier, a freestanding building on the airport’s Eastern Campus, would allow BAA to keep its promise to open the terminal in time for the Olympics.