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Heathrow is official Games airport

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Heathrow will welcome hundreds of thousands of travellers to the UK in its capacity as the official airport of the London 2012 Games.

Under a new deal signed with the Olympic Games organisers, the airport has become the 42nd UK-based group to sponsor the biggest sporting event in the world.

Airport bosses estimate that nearly four out of five people attending the Games, including athletes and officials, will pass through Heathrow.

The management is currently in the process of recruiting 1,000 volunteers from local communities to help meet the demands of increased passenger traffic.

August 13, 2012 - the day after the Games officially close - is expected to be the busiest in the airport's history.

It expects to handle an estimated 218,000 bags on the day, with 15% containing large sporting equipment such as canoes and vaulting poles that will need special baggage channels.

Heathrow intends to upgrade its infrastructure to meet these special needs, with plans including a temporary Olympic terminal, additional freight services to transport equipment and baggage drop at the Olympic village. This should help to reduce the chances any irate athletes making travel insurance claims due to lost equipment.

© Press Association 2011