The new fifth terminal (T5) at Heathrow is in track for delivery on time and to budget, British Airways and airport operator, BAA have announced.

The airline, whose services will exclusively use the £4.3 billion new building and runways constructed on former sewage works between two runways belonging to the existing airport, said a six-month period of testing will precede its official opening on 28 March 2008.

It is anticipated that T5, which is also the largest free-standing building in the UK, will have to cope with 40,000 passengers a day. But an initial group of 16,000 recruits will trial its state-of-the-art baggage, ticketing check-in, car parking and security facilities.

Recently BA’s CIO, Paul Coby told CIO UK the IT work to support such a large-scale, new-build project was also going well. “Devices are deployed, connections are being integrated and 2007 will be testing year. The airline is moving onto the T5 systems, so they run for a year ready to operate at the new terminal when it opens in 2008. This is the year we put the IT infrastructure and systems in place to manage our people and passengers,” he said.