Heathrow will open its new Terminal 2 one year from today, it has been announced.
The £2.5 billion facility will eventually serve 20 million passengers each year after opening its doors on June 4, 2014.
The first aircraft, a United Airlines flight from Chicago, is scheduled to land at 0555.
Prior to the opening next June, there will be six months of testing involving 14,000 people in 182 trials.
Terminal 2 will be home to 25,000 staff and 23 Star Alliance airlines, as well as Aer Lingus, Virgin Atlantic Little Red and Germanwings.
It will open in phases, with the 26 airlines moving in over a period of six months. Just 10 per cent of flights will operate for the first three weeks of June before gradually building up to full operations.
The privately-funded development replaces the old Terminal 2, which was demolished in 2009.
It will include the main Terminal 2 building, a 522-metre satellite pier (T2B), a 1,340 space car park and an energy centre and cooling station.
John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow development director, said: "The new Terminal 2 has been designed around the needs of our passengers, to allow them to get to and from their flights as quickly as possible.
"Like Terminal 5, it will promise world class customer service and a warm welcome to Britain, which visitors expect from the UK's hub airport.
"This next step in Heathrow's transformation will deliver a better journey for passengers, a more efficient and reliable infrastructure for airlines and additional jobs, trade and economic growth for the UK."
For business travellers, Terminal 2 promises a short stay car park with space-finding technology and a "find your car" service to ensure quick and easy access.
Self-service check-in options will allow passengers to get to the departures lounge, where there will be connectivity tables and wifi, as quickly as possible.
The old Terminal 2, opened by the Queen in 1955, was demolished after 54 years of service. It was Heathrow's first terminal, originally called the Europa Building and was designed to deal with 1.2 million passengers a year. By the time it closed in 2009 it was handling 8 million passengers a year.
Heathrow began offering all passengers free wifi on Saturday, providing online access without charge for 45 minutes per calendar day across all five terminals (see online news, May 28).
For more information, visit heathrowairport.com.
Report by Graham Smith