London 2012 Airport Heathrow on the Hunt for Volunteers for Olympics

October 31, 2011

UK Airport, Heathrow, official host airport of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, have started their search for volunteers to greet international athletes, officials, media, spectators and VIPs when they arrive for the Games.

Heathrow, the third busiest airport in the world, will be the main point of entry for London 2012 with around 80 per cent of people travelling to the Games from outside the UK set to pass through its four terminals.

In order to help deal with the influx of people, Heathrow are looking 1,000 Team Heathrow volunteers and have invited local residents who want to be involved to sign up to attend the first selection day on November 12 at the Heathrow Academy in Hounslow.

Volunteers will have the chance to receive a range of London 2012 or Heathrow related rewards and also work at Heathrow on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee which will take place in June next year, just over a month before the Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Colin Matthews, chief executive of British Airports Authority (BAA) who own Heathrow and six other British airports, said: “This is an exciting time for Great Britain and it is an honour for everyone at Heathrow to be amongst the first to welcome athletes and others to the London 2012 Games. The Olympics and Paralympics will be challenging for us and we are working hard to ensure everything works as smoothly as possible. We are inviting enthusiastic volunteers to join our team and provide the best possible reception to our country’s many visitors.”

Heathrow want volunteers welcoming people to England to give them a great first and last impression of London but they face a huge logistical challenge as August 13, the day after the 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony, which is set to be the busiest in the airport’s history.

On that day, the number of bags expected to leave the airport is more than 25 per cent higher than usual peak times with round 15 per cent of the bags likely to be large sporting equipment such as canoes, pole vaults or bikes which cannot be processed through normal baggage systems.