LONDON (AP) — Europe's largest airport is set to welcome a record number of passengers Monday as athletes begin arriving for the London Olympics.
Heathrow says athletes from 50 nations will arrive in what it is describing as Britain's biggest peacetime transport challenge. Some 236,955 passengers are expected to pass through the airport. The previous record of 233,562 was set in July 2011.
Heathrow has enlisted some 1,000 volunteers to meet and greet athletes, officials and media — hoping to put a bright face on the games.
There was also an increased police presence, including sniffer dogs, along with the volunteers and the regular Heathrow staff.
No unusual problems were reported early Monday, as athletes including members of the American sailing team, a Jamaican swimmer and an Italian kayaker were among the early arrivals.
People arriving at Heathrow's Terminal 4 said the immigration lines were not long. British authorities have stepped up the numbers of immigration officials to check passports, hoping to avoid the lines that have made headlines in recent weeks.
Their transport into central London was smoothed by the official opening of a "Games Lane" along the M-4 motorway. The special lane is open only to Olympic officials, VIPs and athletes.
More "Games Lanes" will open in other parts of London as the games approach.
The London Olympics start July 27 and end Aug. 12.
- Sports & Recreation