Heathrow press releases

29 June, 2015

Heathrow bids farewell to Terminal 1

Terminal 1 drop off area - 1969



  • Heathrow Airport's Terminal 1 will close its doors after 47 years of operation
  • Passengers now experiencing brand-new, world-class facilities in Terminal 2
  • Heathrow now rated the best airport in western Europe


Heathrow Terminal 1, opened by Queen Elizabeth II in April 1969, will say goodbye to its final passengers this evening. The terminal will close after 47 years with airlines having completed their move to new, modern world class facilities. The final departure will be a British Airways flight to Hanover, leaving on the evening of Monday June 29. British Airways (formally BEA) were also the first airline to operate from the terminal in 1968.


Since 2003, Heathrow has invested £11 billion in transforming Heathrow.  Over the last year, the majority of flights have been moved from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 and as a result, over 60% of Heathrow passengers will now experience new, world class facilities in Terminal 5 and Terminal 2. This was recognised at the 2015 World Airport Awards when Heathrow was awarded the ‘Best Airport in Western Europe’ by passengers.


The Terminal closure will make way for improved service and way finding around the airport and eventually an extension of the new Terminal 2 will take its place. If the Government supports a third runway at Heathrow then Terminal 2 will be extended farther, providing enough capacity to connect Britain to the world for the 21st century.


Terminal 1 was renowned for being the biggest short-haul terminal of its kind in Western Europe and handled approximately 9 million passengers at full capacity. In the last few weeks, the terminal has been home to just 17 flights and around 1,700 passengers a day as airlines were phased out of the Terminal.


Heathrow CEO John Holland Kaye said; “The closure of Terminal 1 marks another important milestone in the transformation of Heathrow. Terminal 1 has served Britain well for nearly 50 years, but will soon make way for the expansion of Terminal 2, giving Britain a world class airport that we can all be proud of.”

Did you know?

  • Terminal 1 became operational in May 1968 operating BEA, BKS, Autair and Cambrian domestic flights only.
  • The first flight was a BEA 5362 to Edinburgh.
  • At the time of opening, Terminal 1 was the largest airport terminal in Europe.
  • The opening of Terminal 1 led to the renaming of all three terminals in Heathrow’s Central Terminal Area; the Europa Terminal became Terminal 2, The Oceanic terminal became Terminal 3.
  • BEA operated a shuttle service to Glasgow which launched from Terminal 1 – this was a service from which passengers could simply turn up and pay on board
  • Terminal 1 also operated their seat allocation at the gate using a complicated system which consisted of an aircraft seat map and stickers.
  • Judy Garland stubbed her toe in customs and subsequently turned the air blue
  • The terminal operated BA Concorde charter flights – champagne specials which simply flew around the Bay of Biscay and back again


Notes to Editor

Heathrow’s £11 billion investment has transformed Heathrow for passengers and included Terminal 5 A, B and C, a new control tower, a complete refurbishment of Terminals 3 and 4, and last year the new Terminal 2A and B.

The opening of Terminal 5 in March 2008 created the opportunity to demolish the old building and make way for a modern terminal to replace Terminals 1 and 2. In future, Heathrow plans to extend Terminal 2 over the site of the existing Terminal 1. This will provide enough capacity to eventually replace Terminal 3. This is part of a complete transformation of Heathrow to provide passengers with World Class facilities, no matter which terminal they are travelling through.

TAM relocated from T1 in May, leaving BA the only airline to operate just 17 flights a day. Iceland Air left for T2 in March, and El Al left for T4 in April. When the terminal closes, BA’s flights will be split between three and five. Terminal 1 has currently been operating predominantly short haul destinations from the terminal.

Closing T1 also marks the beginning of other crucial projects at Heathrow such as widening the taxiways on the north side of the airfield to facilitate A380s and improve punctuality, and installing a new generation of hold baggage screening.

The latest terminal development plans are on the Heathrow website:



Nadia Vere
Senior Press Officer