Simple Flying - Jake Hardiman
The facility cost more than £4 billion.
One of the defining moments in the airport's recent history was the opening of its Terminal 5, which took place back in 2008. However, its early operations were marred by various teething problems.
Just under two weeks after its inauguration, Heathrow Terminal 5 opened for business on March 27th, 2008. Unfortunately, despite the UK's largest free-standing structure costing £4.2 billion (£6.2 billion or $7.5 billion today), and having been subjected to six months of trials, its early operations were far from perfect.
As early as the terminal's opening day of scheduled flights, the BBC noted that a processing backlog had forced British Airways to suspend the checking-in of hold baggage.
Later that year, in mid-May 2008, the reasons for the early issues became clear. According to Computer Weekly, then-BA CEO Willie Walsh said that IT issues had been one factor but the airline could have coped with these problems alone. However, they were compounded by other aspects, such as parking issues, inadequate training, and broken lifts, which collectively caused the disruption.