Heathrow has boosted its blueprint commitments to reduce airport noise, emissions and traffic to help make the hub airport environmentally responsible in 2016.
As part of a series of action plans the latest £2m pledge to go electric was revealed on Monday (January 4) in a move which will see more than 135 chargers installed and another 260 electric vehicles added to its fleet used on and around the airport.
Other updates published in the report include working with NATS on night time runway alteration to offer more respite to local people; doubling environmental landing charges for airlines to encourage use of cleaner aircraft; and a new cycle plan to transform the experience for cyclists at the airport with 16,500 people who work at Heathrow living within 5km of the airport.
CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “2015 saw us commit to a series of action plans that will make us a better neighbour, by reducing noise, emissions and traffic.
“Today we are providing an update on the very significant progress already being made, thanks to the commitment of the airport community.
“But we know that we need to do more, and in the coming months will set out even more ambitious plans that will make an expanded Heathrow the most environmentally responsible hub airport in the world.”
The report builds on the existing Heathrow 2015 blueprint commitments and provides a traffic light rating - red, amber, green - against each of the pledges made.
It shows 70% of promises have been put into action with the remaining 30% in progress.
Highlights of existing and new commitments for 2016
- Heathrow provided funding for five local schools to install ‘adobe domes’ – special outdoor constructions that protect pupils and teachers from noise outdoors – seven more will be funded in 2016
- The Airbus A320 family of aircraft currently make up about 50% of all traffic movements at Heathrow. Low-noise technology is currently fitted onto some of these aircraft but in the next 18 months, retrofitting will be accelerated by airlines, thus reducing noise significantly.
- Penalties on airlines using older, noisier aircraft are working with Heathrow on track to become the first large European airport to be free of the oldest and noisiest classification of aircraft.
- The latest Fly Quiet Programme League – which ranks airlines according to their noise performance - shows an upward trend in the use of the quiet Continuous Descent Approach (CDA).
- Disrupted schedule flights that take-off late - after 11.30pm at night - have almost halved in number (267 flights left late between March to October 31 2015, compared to 414 over the same period in 2014).
- Heathrow will invest £16.2m in 2016 to upgrade and extend coverage of pre-conditioned air units and electric power provision at gates to reduce aircraft emissions on parking stands
- Talks between Heathrow and major airlines to phase-out older aircraft that don’t meet the international emissions standard (ICAO CAEP) will continue in 2016.
- 25% of departures reported reduced-engine use in taxiing, so reducing on-airfield emissions, since it was introduced.
- 21 electric vehicle chargers are available now to passengers in short-stay car parks free of charge, a publically-accessible hydrogen refuelling station is also based at Heathrow and zero-emission vehicles are already being added to its fleet of 400 vehicles, supported by a £250,000 investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure during 2015.
- The launch of a new App this year providing real-time public transport and traffic information for passengers travelling on from Heathrow.
- Heathrow Express to build on new products from 2015 which included cheaper advance tickets online and under 16s travel free. More ticket offers can be expected in 2016.
- A new £1 million local transport fund was created by Heathrow to develop and deliver local authority transport projects to reduce congestion – such as supporting bus routes.
- New 24-hour bus services for Heathrow from the west began in 2015 providing alternatives to local car travel for employees in addition to the UK’s first free public transport zone (free buses) for an airport.
- The launch of a new car share App in 2016 to make it even easier for people to access the service.
- Heathrow colleagues will see new initiatives rolled out in 2016 to encourage them to move to more sustainable transport modes of travel to work.