It will allow the number of passengers using the building to increase to 30 million
Plans for a £1bn refurbishment of Heathrow Airport's Terminal 2 in west London which will increase passenger capacity have been unveiled.
The terminal will be able to cater for 30 million travellers a year by 2019, airport operator BAA said.
The current building will close at the end of the year and a new building will open for passengers in 2013.
But critics say it could mean more flights and make the lives of people under the flight path difficult.
Our worry is that if Terminal 2 means extra capacity at the terminal that would be filled up by more passengers which means more flights over residents of west London and Berkshire
John Stewart, Hacan Clear Skies
The new terminal, which will be home for Star Alliance airlines, is part of a £4.8bn investment in the west London airport. BAA claims expansion is "crucial" for Heathrow to remain competitive.
The existing building will be demolished and passenger numbers to the new 11,300 sqm terminal will increase to 20 million by the end of the first phase of the development in 2013.
Until that time all flights bound for the terminal will be diverted to other terminals.
By 2019 the new terminal will extend into the current Terminal 1 site, which will then be closed.
Malcolm Robertson, spokesman for BAA, said: "The creation of Terminal 2 is about creating more and better terminal capacity, it's not related to the need for a third runway.
"However if Heathrow is to remain competitive and to continue to provide a great economic asset to London, the South East and the UK as a whole, then it is going to require a new runway capacity."
New 'green' terminal
John Stewart, chairman of the anti-airport expansion group, Hacan Clear Skies, said: "We are not opposed to a nicer terminal for passengers but our worry is that if Terminal 2 means extra capacity at the terminal that would be filled up by more passengers which means more flights over residents of west London and Berkshire and that's what we are concerned about."
BAA said the new "green" building will cut carbon emissions by 40% with solar-gathering panels on its roof and a new energy centre, which will be partially fuelled by renewable resources to air-condition the building.
The new terminal will have self-service check-in machines in addition to traditional check-in desks, fast-bag drops and 15 security search lanes.
There will be nine new parking stands for planes, a third of which will be designed to accommodate aircrafts such as the A380.
Last week the High Court ruled that campaigners could present their case against the planned expansion of the airport in court in a public hearing.
In January the government was given the go-ahead for a third runway and sixth terminal at Heathrow despite concerns about its environmental impact.
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