Heathrow airport is to get a new ‘green’ terminal in time for the London Olympics in 2012.

Last night London Mayor Ken Livingstone and Hillingdon Council granted planning for the £1.5bn redevelopment of terminals 1 and 2. The two terminals will be replaced by an ‘environmentally-sensitive’ new terminal called Heathrow East.

Airport operator baa said Heathrow East is part of a wider £6.2bn investment programme to redevelop Heathrow over the next 10 years.

Other plans for Heathrow include the opening of Terminal 5 in March next year and the refurbishment of Terminal 4.

BAA chief executive Tony Douglas said: ‘By 2012, most of our passengers will be travelling through terminal facilities that aren't even open today and we will have either re-built or redeveloped all our other terminals. Heathrow will be like a new airport for London.’

Livingstone said he was pleased that parties had agreed on a scheme ‘that puts energy efficiency and renewables at the heart of plans for a new Heathrow terminal’.

‘The challenges associated with climate change will define how our city develops in the coming decades and, as the gateway between our city and the world, it is right that Heathrow airport leads the way in meeting those challenges,’ said Livingstone.