Posts Tagged ‘2012 Summer Olympics’

[] London Heathrow airport chief executive officer Colin Matthews is to stand down later this year.

Colin Matthews has been at the helm since March 2008. Image: BBC News 

Matthews joined the airport in March 2008 and under his leadership the proportion of passengers rating their journey through Heathrow as good or excellent increased from less than 50% to more than 75%.

Terminal 5 has been voted by passengers as the world’s best airport terminal for the past three years and the airport has constructed the new T2 which is set to open in June.

London Heathrow was also official gateway for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the option for a third runway was shortlisted in December 2013 by the Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission.

Matthews said: “It has been a privilege to serve as CEO of Heathrow for the last six years. With a strong leadership team, the company continues to raise standards of passenger service, improve efficiency and reduce costs.

The opening of terminal two: The Queen’s Terminal in June this year is a further important step in the transformation of Heathrow and long-term prospects are bright following the decision of the airport’s Commission to shortlist our proposal for a new runway.

So once terminal two has opened later this year, I have decided the time is right to pass on the baton.”

Read the full story at…..
31st March, 2014

Andrew Pentol

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[From a BBC News Feature] Olympic torch: Top pilot’s ‘most precious cargo’.

When pilot Captain David Thomas takes off from Athens El. Venizelos airport later today, on board his gold-painted plane will be a highly precious cargo.

Classed as dangerous goods, there is a specific regulation for the carriage of the Olympic flame.
Photo: RRconway (Photobucket)

Strapped into seats 1A and 1B, in what would normally be business class, will be the Olympic flame as it makes its journey from Greece to the UK.

Its arrival heralds the start of a 70-day relay around the UK ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

On board the British Airways plane, named The Firefly, will also be a party of dignitaries including footballer David Beckham, Princess Anne and London 2012 chairman Seb Coe.

At the controls of flight 2012 from Athens International Airport to the Royal Navy airbase at Culdrose in Cornwall, Mr Thomas knows the eyes of the world will be on him and his team.

“You try to forget about a lot of the external pressure as it’s not helpful, when you’re flying passengers you are thinking about safety,” he told the BBC.

“I’ve been in that position before, you don’t want to get it wrong but I have got a couple of great guys with me.

“The worst thing for me is I know how good the [TV] cameras are so I’ll have to watch what I’m doing at all times.”

Nothing has been left to chance in planning for the flight as Mr Thomas, 45, said: “It’s slightly unusual to be playing with fire on an aeroplane.”

Classed as dangerous goods, there is a specific regulation for the carriage of the Olympic flame.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority has approved a detailed safety case drawn up by Mr Thomas and BA’s Dangerous Goods team.

The flame is in four lanterns which sit in two specially-made metal cradles secured to the chair by a seatbelt and a Velcro strap.

In seat 1C will be the fire warden – a Metropolitan Police officer trained in firefighting – who will monitor the flame for the duration of the 1,500-mile flight.

Unusually, and reflecting the significance of the flight, Mr Thomas will be joined by two pilots – a captain and a first officer – whom he selected.

“We’re taking an extra pilot which helps with the distractions and if one of you goes sick. It also allows you to delegate responsibilities which is helpful in…..

Read the full story at BBC News…..

By Jane Mower
BBC 18th May, 2012