BAA has started work on the £260 million baggage tunnel which will connect the baggage systems at Terminals 3 and 5.
A £3.3m tunnel boring machine, nicknamed Beatrice, has started boring the 1.8km tunnel at a rate of 15m per day. BAA says that once completed the 5.6m-wide tunnel will be able to transport baggage at a rate of 800m per minute, and will enable the airport to handle 110 million bags annually by 2012.
The airport operator says that the tunnel is part of a £900 million baggage improvement plan, with work underway to replace the baggage system at Terminal 3, along with the refurbishment of the existing system at Terminals 1 and 4. A new system is also due to be installed at Terminal 5C when it opens in 2011.
For more information visit baa.com.
Report by Mark Caswell
Click on the link below to see the route taken by a bag from check-in to plane.