30 years at ‘fan­tasy is­land’ ter­mi­nal

Worker proud to be part of air­port’s his­tory

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Salina Pa­tel salina.pa­tel@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

IT has been three decades since a fourth ter­mi­nal was opened at Heathrow Air­port.

On April 1, 1986 His Royal High­ness Prince Charles and Princess Diana opened the £200 mil­lion build­ing in re­sponse to a boom in de­mand for air travel, with the first pas­sen­gers wel­comed on April 12, 1986.

For more than 20 years it was pri­mar­ily used by Bri­tish Air­ways be­fore they moved to Ter­mi­nal 5 in 2008, and now houses the SkyTeam air­line al­liance group which in­cludes 35 air­lines.

Among those cel­e­brat­ing the ter­mi­nal’s 30th was Ray Stan­ley from Wok­ing, who has been part of the team at the ter­mi­nal since it opened. He said: “I orig­i­nally worked for a com­pany called Field Air­craft Ser­vices which was lo­cated on the site where the ter­mi­nal is today. We saw those build­ings get knocked down and Ter­mi­nal 4 pop up in its place.

“A whole load of us started work­ing in the new build­ing in Fe­bru­ary 1986 and we were here when it was opened by Princess Diana.

“The ter­mi­nal used to have the nick­name fan­tasy is­land be­cause we were lo­cated out on our own, but grad­u­ally other parts of the air­port have grown up around us.”

Mr Stan­ley orig­i­nally worked in se­cu­rity be­fore mov­ing onto en­gi­neer­ing.

“It is an hon­our to have been part of the team here at Heathrow for the past 31 years,” he said. “There are not many jobs like this where you get to meet such a di­verse range of peo­ple and have to deal with a va­ri­ety of is­sues on a day to day ba­sis.

“I have made some fan­tas­tic friends here and when you look at how Heathrow has de­vel­oped over the years into the air­port that it is today, I am very proud to have been part of it.”

Ter­mi­nal 4 was given a £100m facelift in 2009 to im­prove fa­cil­i­ties for a grow­ing num­ber of pas­sen­gers, and last year han­dled 53,357 flights and 9.2m pas­sen­gers. Over the years it has wel­comed celebri­ties and roy­alty and was part of the host air­port for the Lon­don 2012 Olympic Games.

It is con­nected to the Lon­don Un­der­ground, Pic­cadilly Line and pas­sen­gers who use the Heathrow Ex­press to Ter­mi­nals 2 and 3 can jump aboard a free train ser­vice to Ter­mi­nal 4.

This year also marks the 70th an­niver­sary of Heathrow, with cel­e­bra­tions in May.

■ LONG SER­VICE: Ray Stan­ley from Wok­ing has worked at Ter­mi­nal 4 since it was opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales 30 years ago

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