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DAILY MAIL REVEALS BASIC DESIGN FLAWS AT T5

Changing light bulbs in London Heathrow Terminal 5 set to “cost millions”

It has been reported (24th Nov) by the Mail Online that most of the light bulbs in London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 departure lounge have now ‘blown’ and not replaced because there is no safe way to gain the required access.

The plan to change the bulbs will it is said to now take four months and will cost “millions of pounds”.

It appears that when the £4.5billion terminal was constructed the design overlooked how to safely change 120,000 lightbulbs located 120ft above the Terminal floor. None of the the bulbs have been replaced since 2008 and in some areas up to 60 per cent of the lights have failed.

The Mail Online states that an email obtained by news website Exaro suggested that Terminal 5’s owners had been unable to solve the problem despite experimenting with cherry-pickers and hydraulic boom lifts. A team of specialist ‘wire walkers’ is reported to have now been engaged to prevent “the lights going out completely”.

The email reportedly sent to staff by Vicki O’Brien, Head of Heathrow Customer Service at British Airways said:

“As many of you will have seen recently, the departures concourse has been becoming darker than normal in the late afternoons/evenings, as well as in the early mornings. The reason for the poor light is that 60 per cent of the downlighters have failed, and until recently Heathrow had no viable way to replace them.

Various things have been investigated in the past five years, but for a number of reasons none of these were practical or safe. The good news is that Heathrow has now identified a safe and robust way to replace all the lightbulbs, and this is high-level rope work carried out by a specialist company.”

A spokesman for Heathrow said:

“The current lighting on the Terminal 5 concourse is being replaced with environmentally friendly LED bulbs. Contingency lighting has been used on the concourse while a viable and safe solution for replacing the lights was being agreed.”

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