Ultra low emission zones part of Heathrow’s new green plan
Most polluting planes will be given bigger landing fines in 10-point proposal
HEATHROW bosses want to introduce a central London-style ultra low emission zone for coaches and buses serving the airport.
The move is part of a 10-point plan to reduce pollution around the airport, which currently exceeds EU limits. The airport is also considering hiking up landing fees for the most polluting planes and making its entire fleet of vehicles electric or hybrid, among other measures set out in its blueprint to reduce emissions.
It says the commitments will help cut ground-based nitrous oxide emissions at the airport by five per cent by 2020, compared with 2009 levels.
Heathrow’s CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “Having spoken to the local community and looked at what we could do to address noise, which we set out in our 10-point noise action plan published last November, we wanted to work on air quality.
“We’ve reduced emissions by 16 per cent in the past five years, but we need to go further.
“Having made the easier changes, we need to start doing the less easy things.”
There are currently two air monitoring points north of Heathrow on the M4, in Hillingdon and Hayes, which exceed the legally-binding EU limit of 40 microgrammes of nitrogen dioxide per cubic metre.
Heathrow claims airport-related emissions, including those from vehicles carrying passengers and staff to the airport, account for just 16 per cent and six per cent respectively of pollution at those sites.
However, Mr HollandKaye said he recognised Heathrow had a role to play in reducing pollution around its perimeter.
That stretch of the M4 is currently excluded from the low emission zone, prohibiting the dirtiest vehicles, which covers the majority of London.
Mr Holland-Kaye said this was to allow noncompliant vehicles which had accidentally entered the zone to exit before being penalised.
However, he said Heathrow was in talks with Transport for London (TfL) about ending this exemption, as well as introducing an ultra low emission zone for buses and coaches travelling to the airport.
He said TfL had been very receptive to the idea but he was reluctant to put a time frame on the move as it was not within the airport’s power.
He added that Heathrow was also working with TfL to get more cleaner hybrid buses serving routes around the airport.
Heathrow has previously raised the prospect of a congestion zone for passengers and staff travelling by car to the airport. However, this is unlikely to be introduced for many years, if at all.
n GREEN MEASURES: Heathrow Airport bosses, including CEO John Holland-Kaye (left) want to cut the pollution levels currently exceeding EU limits