Process engineering support to increase the capacity of T5, Heathrow

The challenge

Heathrow Airport recently initiated a programme to increase the capacity of Terminal 5 in advance of new runway expansion plans. The operator established a project team to identify opportunities to increase the capacity of existing Terminal 5 infrastructure, and to understand the maximum capacity of the facility based on these improvements. o&i consulting was asked to provide expert process engineering support to the programme.


Our role

First, o&i consulting worked with the client and other stakeholders to develop a complete understanding of the existing T5 departure, transfer and arrival processes, identifying current capacity and possible constraints, thereby highlighting the potential to raise capacity.

Focussing on key processing points, such as check-in, passenger security screening and immigration, we provided operational expertise and process support to a series of studies carried out to understand current performance, establish where waste existed in each process and quantify improvement opportunities. We advised the client on process, layout and equipment changes required to achieve these gains.

o&i consulting continues to provide process support to the programme, with a focus on identifying process based opportunities to increase capacity, and scoping and managing trials to validate the degree of additional capacity achievable.


“o&i consulting’s work helped us to understand the current performance in check-in and passenger search areas and suggested opportunities to improve this. O&I carried out similar work in Immigration and also led changes to improve the flow through the area. I am more than happy to recommend o&i.

Ian Reynolds, former T5 Plus Programme – Capacity Planning Manager, Heathrow Airport Ltd


o&i expertise

  • Process definition, mapping and measurement
  • Process reengineering and layout design
  • Trials of proposed process and layout changes
  • Data analysis and modelling
  • Stakeholder engagement and management
  • Reporting


Project Key Facts

Title: Process engineering support to increase the capacity of T5, Heathrow

Client: Heathrow

Theme: Airport Operations