Heathrow funds "Cloud Index" artwork at Paddington Crossrail station


By Heathrow

Published 29th October 2015

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Heathrow is funding a major new artwork – “Cloud Index” – at the Paddington Crossrail station as part of “The Culture Line” initiative.

• Spencer Finch’s ‘Cloud Index’ to take flight in canopy above the station

• Artwork to be co-funded by Heathrow and City of London Corporation and installed in advance of Crossrail opening in 2018

Heathrow is co-founding an impressive new art work with the City of London Corporation in the new Paddington Crossrail station.

A Cloud Index by international artist Spencer Finch will see different types of clouds printed onto the glazed canopy above the station ticket hall. They will create a picture of the sky which will appear to change according to the light, the direction of the sun and the time of day.

The artwork was selected by an advisory Round Table in collaboration with Lisson Gallery and station architects Weston Williamson. It will be part of Crossrail’s Culture Line, an exhibition of large-scale art across central London Crossrail stations, created in collaboration with London’s leading art galleries and Futurecity, a cultural and placemaking agency.

“I want to create a visual experience for travellers”

Artist Spencer Finch said, “I want to create a visual experience for travellers that changes each time they pass through the station. This artwork will exist both as an artificial cloudscape and as a homage to the British obsession with categorizing and systematizing the most fugitive of natural phenomena.”

“Since Luke Howard first created a nomenclature for clouds in 1803, the efforts to comprehend and quantify clouds have been both beautiful and quixotic, and clouds always seem to stay one step ahead of human understanding.”Heathrow’s CEO John Holland-Kaye said, “We are incredibly proud to be part of the Culture Line and to support Crossrail’s work to connecting Heathrow with with The City, Canary Wharf and East London.”

“Crossrail will transform journey times across London, take nearly 2 million cars off the road by the time it opens in 2019, and ultimately help us to ensure more than 50% of our passengers use public transport at an expanded Heathrow by 2030.” – Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye

“Crossrail will transform journey times across London, take nearly 2 million cars off the road by the time it opens in 2019, and ultimately help us to ensure more than 50% of our passengers use public transport at an expanded Heathrow by 2030.”

Terry Morgan, Crossrail Chairman said, “Spencer Finch’s art is beautiful, ambitious and intelligent. It will leave a legacy for future generations, helping to maintain London’s reputation as a global capital for arts and culture.”

“I would like to thank Heathrow for joining the City of London Corporation and contributing towards the Culture Line, which has good momentum as we get closer to Crossrail opening in 2018.”

What is “The Culture Line”?

The Culture Line falls outside Crossrail’s £14.8 billion core funding. The Crossrail Art Foundation is raising funds for the individual artworks from corporate funders.

The City of London Corporation has also agreed to support the Crossrail Art Foundation by match funding the contributions received from the corporate funders. Commissions for artworks will also focus initially on the new Crossrail stations at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Whitechapel and Canary Wharf.

Crossrail by the numbers:

  • 25,000,000 – Passengers expected to use the Paddington Crossrail station each year;
  • 1,500,000 – Additional people to be within 45 minutes of Central London;
  • 40 – The number of minutes it will take to get to Heathrow from Canary Wharf.
  • 10% – Crossrail will add this amount to central London’s rail capacity;
  • 200,000,000 – Number of passengers expected to use Crossrail each year.


Globally-renowned British supermodel, Yasmin Le Bon, took centre stage at Heathrow to launch new coffee table book, A Journey in Style, visiting the T5 departure lounge and T5 Art Gallery, which is also exhibiting some of the images from the limited edition book.

Available to buy from Amazon.co.uk and at the T5 Gallery itself, A Journey in Style sees Yasmin collaborating with the UK’s hub airport to celebrate the enduring relationship between fashion and flying and the arrival of the Chanel store in Terminal 5; capturing stunning images of the jet-set, through to today’s style elite.

Boasting renowned Fashion Editor, Elizabeth Walker, as Art Director the book includes over 160 stunning images, capturing and celebrating the glamour of air travel from stylish departures and statement arrivals through to the chicest of destinations.The glossy pages feature some of the most iconic style influencers of all time – from screen sirens, Marilyn Monroe and Marlene Dietrich; music legends, Mick Jagger and The Beatles; to queen of the catwalk, Kate Moss and HRH herself, Queen Elizabeth II.

Raising money for Oxfam

The hardback book, the proceeds of which will go to Oxfam, also features one of the most iconic faces of the Swinging Sixties, Twiggy, on its cover. In an image that sees her waiting to board a flight to Tokyo in 1967, the doe-eyed model, sporting her signature pixie crop, exudes classic glamour.

Commenting on the book, Yasmin said: “There’s something fabulously glamorous about flying that has always fascinated me and to this day I still get excited about travelling. From the starlets of the 50s stepping onto the runway in their oversized sunglasses and trollies stacked with monogrammed luggage, to today’s style icons, air travel has always been packed with stylish possibility.”

“The book includes stunning archive images from some of the world’s most renowned photographers, including Dennis Stone, Heathrow’s resident photographer since 1946 – and there’s even one or two of myself in there!

“It’s been hugely enjoyable working with the team to celebrate the unique relationship between style and flying and to see the book come together. I’ll definitely be keeping a copy on my coffee table.”

The introduction for A Journey in Style was written by Yasmin Le Bon, whose modelling career spans over 30 years. Yasmin has fronted campaigns for Calvin Klein, Christian Dior, and Karl Lagerfeld, walked the catwalk for Chanel and Chloé and graced the cover of Vogue magazine 11 times.

Yasmin has also been photographed countless times travelling through Heathrow, flying to international fashion shows, travelling with her family and accompanying her husband, Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran fame, on worldwide tours.

A Journey in style marks completion of £40 million luxury revamp

A Journey in Style has been created to mark the completion of a three year £40 million programme to bring together the most luxurious fashion brands in the world at Terminal 5 and cement its fashionable reputation amongst frequent flyers.

Completing the line-up, and joining Louis Vuitton, Prada, Burberry, Cartier and Rolex in Terminal 5, will be Chanel, which opens its doors to customers in December. Once open, the terminal will boast a collection of 23 fashion and luxury brands, each of which has been beautifully re-designed to echo the store’s flagship location.

Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5A (main terminal building), airside, departures lounge, LUIS VUITTON retail outlet, December 2014.

Images to be displayed in T5 art gallery

A selection of the images will also be on display in the T5 Art Gallery for four weeks to mark the launch of the book. The exhibition will feature an array of the stunning images, including the cover shot of Twiggy, the always glamorous Joan Collins with her teetering tower of designer luggage, the ever-stylish Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood.

Jonathan Coen, Retail Director at Heathrow said: “Heathrow and fashion have long gone hand-in-hand, as the launch of A Journey in Style proves. While we’ve always been known for the quality of our retail experience, our recent programme has expanded our luxury fashion and accessories offering to 23 premium stores, rivalling some of the most exclusive shopping destinations in the UK.”

A Journey in Style is the perfect Christmas gift for fans of fashion, travel and vintage glamour, and is available on Amazon.co.uk and at Terminal 5’s Art Gallery in departures for £15. Anyone wanting to tweet about the campaign can use #JetSetStyle.

Heathrow has today released record three quarter results showing it is ready for expansion with passenger numbers, revenue and EBITDA all up.


  • Demand at Heathrow continues to grow with traffic up 2.3% to a record 56.9 million passengers

  • Service quality well ahead of other European hubs during a record summer with five separate days where Heathrow welcomed over a quarter of a million passengers per day

  • Robust financial results with revenue up 4.1% to £2.1 billion and EBITDA up 4.4% to £1.2 billion

  • Continued focus on delivering operating efficiencies: successful consultation on pension changes has reduced costs, enabling continuation of final salary scheme

  • Strong momentum for expansion. Heathrow is ready to get on quickly to deliver economic growth and jobs for Britain

Record passenger numbers boost Heathrow expansion plans 

Heathrow is on track for a record annual number of passengers in 2015 with over 56.9 million already having travelled through the airport – an increase of 2.3% on 2014. These passenger numbers come on the back of a record-breaking summer period (July-September) in  which Heathrow had it’s busiest ever day (257,312 passengers) and 5 days with 250,000 passengers or more.

These passenger numbers come on the back of a record-breaking summer period (July-September) in  which Heathrow had it’s busiest ever day (257,312 passengers) and 5 days with 250,000 passengers or more.

In total, 21.4 million passengers came through Heathrow during summer – a 3.9% rise on last year.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said the results show how the airport is moving closer to it’s goal of delivering the best airport service in the world and that it is ready to expand.

“Expansion at Heathrow fills the gap in the UK’s long-term economic plan, by connecting all of Britain to global growth,” John Holland-Kaye said.

“Today’s strong set of results demonstrates that we’re moving closer to our goal of giving passengers the best airport service in the world and that we’re well-placed to make the private investment to fund expansion. Let’s make it happen.”

Financial results have backed up these record-breaking passenger numbers with revenue up 4.1% £2.1bn and EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) up 4.4% to £1.2bn.

An award winning 2015…

Heathrow’s world-class facilities and Europe leading customer service scores have combined to see the airport take home several prestigous awards already in 2015. Significantly, Heathrow’s sustainability efforts have also been recognised with multiple awards this year as well.

Awards this year include, but are not limited to:

  • The Independent‘s “Best Airport” award;
  • Skytrax‘s “Best Airport in Western Europe”, “Best Terminal”(T5), and “Best Airport for Shopping” awards;
  • ACI Europe‘s “Best Airport” and “Eco-Innovation” awards;
  • Business Traveller‘s “Best Airport for Shopping”
  • Green Fleet Magazine‘s “Pivate Sector Fleet of the Year (Medium-Large)”.

Transforming customer service

In 2015, Heathrow has delivered its best ever passenger service with 81% of passengers surveyed rating their overall experience as ‘Excellent’ or ‘Very Good’ (2014: 77%).

For a seventh consecutive quarter Heathrow has achieved a service quality score above 4.00 whilst increasing passenger numbers.

The independent Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey directed by Airports Council International (ACI) puts Heathrow well ahead of major European hub airports. The result reflects strong overall operational performance and high levels of satisfaction across key passenger service attributes.

Heathrow’s vehicle fleet, energy use, and public transport networks have all been singled out as the best in the industry by media awards this month.

Green Fleet Magazine has named Heathrow’s vehicle fleet as the ‘Private Sector Fleet of the Year’ (Medium-Large). This recognition follows two more accolades – Heathrow was shortlisted for the best in passenger transport by the inaugural National Air Quality Awards and is shortlisted for the Energy Management Award in the forthcoming Edies’ Sustainability Leaders Awards.

Matt Gorman, Heathrow Director of Sustainability and Environment said: “We are honoured to receive these awards, particularly as they recognise the work that we have done in the past few years to improve Heathrow’s air quality and reduce our emissions but we are committed to doing more to be a good neighbour.

“Even with expansion, we can meet air quality limits, and carbon targets, and ensure a bigger Heathrow can be better neighbour we cannot solve the air quality problems in West London without the collaboration of City Hall and the Government” – Matt Gorman

“Road traffic, particularly in the M4 and M25 junctions around the airport continues to be the greatest contributor to poor air quality, but the majority of this – over 80% – is not airport-related. While we have been recognised for making progress, and plans for transformational public transport will change the way many people travel to and from the airport, we cannot solve the air quality problems in West London without the collaboration of City Hall and the Government.”

How Heathrow cut emissions by 16% in 5 years…

Heathrow’s multi-million pound investments in electric vehicle infrastructure, technology to reduce aircraft emissions, and public transport options have all already played a key part in reducing emissions around the airport by 16% over five years.

In the future, the airport has plans in place to cut emissions even further, including by investing £5 million so that every car or small van owned or leased is electric or plug-in hybrid by 2020. This initiative on its own could reduce up to 100 tonnes of nitrogen oxide emissions each year from our airside fleet alone.

Heathrow will continue to ensure passengers have a range of options to travel sustainably to the airport, and increase the amount of people travelling to the airport by public transport to over 45%. Heathrow is already the best connected airport by road, rail and air – and with expansion it could be at the heart of an integrated transport hub.

New upgrades like Crossrail, Southern and Western Rail Access, links to HS2 and an expanded bus and coach station will help ensure there is no more airport-related traffic on the roads around the airport compared to today.

The GreenFleet, Air Quality News and Edie awards and nominations follow other notable Heathrow recognitions in sustainability this year, including the airport’s 8th Biodiversity Benchmark Award and the ACI’s Eco-Innovation Award.

More about the awards

The GreenFleet Awards are a celebration of environmental fleet management and green motoring, awarding dedicated companies and individuals who are passionate about promoting a cleaner environment. With 20 categories ranging from “industry innovation” to “leasing company of the year”, they recognise outstanding achievement within each field. For more information please see: http://events.greenfleet.net/awards/

With 13 categories that cover all aspects of sustainability, plus full RSA accreditation, the Sustainability Leaders Awards have been giving organisations large and small the opportunity to get the recognition they deserve for over 8 years. 2015 is no different and with six brand new categories such as Employee Engagement and Behavioural Change, Sustainable Business Models and the Sustainability Professional Award, these diverse awards really are one of the highest accolades to sustainability in the corporate sector. More information is available here: http://awards.edie.net/

The inaugural National Air Quality Awards are supported by the Institute of Air Quality Management. Awards were presented at a dinner on the evening of 22 October 2015 at the Grand Hotel, Bristol. Submissions were invited for six categories which cover a range of sectors from local authorities through to industry, individuals and technology. The categories are:

  • Local Authority Air Quality Initiative of the Year: sponsored by Eminox

  • Best Air Quality Communications Campaign 2015

  • The Innovation in Air Quality Technology Award: sponsored by Shawcity

  • Car Manufacturer Air Quality Progress Award 2015

  • Passenger Transport Air Quality Award: sponsored by Emissions Analytics

  • Air Quality Champion Award

For more information please visit: http://www.airqualitynews.com/awards/

How will an expanded Heathrow benefit Wales? We’ve taken a look at what the benefits will be, how they’ll be created and who’s supporting Heathrow expansion from Wales.

  • Expanding Heathrow will create up to 8,400 new skilled jobs in Wales and deliver up to £6.2 billion in economic growth

  • An expanded Heathrow will be at the heart of an integrated transport hub, making it cheaper to export and easier to attract high-value tourists

  • Strong support for Heathrow expansion across Wales – including the Welsh Government, South Wales Chamber of Commerce and the West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce

With Heathrow expansion, Wales will benefit from the creation of over 8,400 jobs and reduced journey times to the UK’s only hub – driving trade and tourism, inward investment and exports to global markets.

The benefits for Wales explained…

Wales will directly benefit from the expansion of Heathrow, as it will:

  • Make it cheaper for Welsh goods to get to market: Expansion would double freight capacity at Heathrow, helping Welsh products get to export markets across the globe faster and more efficiently. In fact, Heathrow already handles over £2.8 billion of Welsh exports annually;
  • Reduce journey times: Heathrow is already Wales’s gateway to the world and schemes like Western Rail Access and HS2 will reduce transport times to the UK’s only hub by up to 90 minutes – making Wales a more attractive place for international investment;
  • Deliver more high-value tourists: As the UK’s only hub airport, unlocking additional capacity will add 40 new long-haul routes and make it easier for Wales to roll out the red carpet to the high-value international tourists who support 128,800 jobs in the Welsh tourist sector;
  • Create skilled local jobs: Expansion will be a multi-billion pound project which will create 6,000 new manufacturing jobs throughout the Welsh supply chain, the first wave of which will come from the planning and development of an additional runway and new terminals at an expanded Heathrow;
  • Supported by business groups and politicians across Wales: There is huge and growing support in Wales for Heathrow expansion, with the Welsh Government, South Wales Chamber of Commerce and West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce backing our plans. Heathrow expansion is also supported by Trade Unions with the TUC, GMB, UNITE and BALPA all backing the plans.

First Minister Carwyn Jones backs Heathrow expansion for Wales

First Minister Carwyn Jones underlined the strength of Heathrow’s global network and proximity to Wales as a key part of the nation’s “business and tourist proposition”.

Welcoming the Airports Commission’s unanimous recommendation for an expanded Heathrow, he said that the airport would “provide the better solution for Wales and in doing so will better serve to help rebalance the UK economy.”

Supply chain benefits for Wales…

A diverse supply chain spread across the whole of the UK will be critical to delivering an expanded Heathrow on time and on budget. That’s why Heathrow established a Procurement Strategy Forum earlier this year, which includes a representative from the [Welsh Government], to work with Heathrow on developing a procurement strategy which maximises the opportunities for growth in Wales. The Forum has its inaugural meeting on the 28th October.

Heathrow is also committed to growing businesses and creating jobs in Wales today. Over the past year alone, Heathrow has leveraged its position as Britain’s global gateway to showcase Wales as a tourist destination and over the coming months will promote direct foreign investment to the airport’s business passengers.

The advertisements have strengthened Heathrow’s partnership with Wales and represent a unique opportunity to engage with Heathrow’s annual 74 million passengers.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said expansion is a great chance to help boost Wales economic growth.

“An expanded Heathrow will deliver jobs and growth for Wales – creating over 8,400 new skilled jobs and delivering up to £6.4 billion in economic growth. With more capacity at the UK’s only hub, it’ll also be cheaper for Welsh exports to get to market with up to 40 new long haul links.”

“New transport schemes like Western Rail Access and HS2 will be transformational in reducing journey times to Wales – putting a world-class hub on Wales’s doorstep and making Wales a more attractive place for both inward investment and high-spending international tourists. Let’s build it.” Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye


  • Airports Commission: Heathrow Airport North-West Runway (Airports Commission, 2014)
  • Regional Distribution of Employment and Economic Impacts (QUOD, 2015)
  • Seabury Trade Database

Whilst Heathrow has been full for over a decade and that has affected both domestic and international connectivity for UK passengers and businesses. Expansion will help change that.

With a third runway, new routes to regional UK airports and UK rail improvements we can connect more businesses to the places and people providing the opportunities for jobs and growth.

The Airports Commission has released its own analysis that states expansion could create economic benefits outside of London – e.g. Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England regions – of up to £114bn.

What is Heathrow doing to improve domestic connections

We want to do everything we can to safeguard and encourage better domestic connectivity, so we’re reducing our domestic passenger charges by a third (these make the services more commercially attractive to airlines and less vulnerable to a false choice where airlines can be tempted to prioritise long-haul services).

We’ve also launched a £10m route development fund which will provide start-up capital to airlines who want to launch new services from an expanded Heathrow.

The latest proposals are part of a package of commitments Heathrow announced in March.

We’ve also committed to work with Government to have existing Public Service Obligation flights – like Dundee and Newquay – reallocated to Heathrow so that those passengers can take advantage of the onward global connectivity that Heathrow provides as the UK’s only hub.

easyJet and other new carriers to enhance competition and lower fares

An expanded Heathrow will also welcome new carriers like easyJet who will enhance competition and drive down fares.

Indeed, easyJet alone have already committed to launching a new service to Inverness, Isle of Mann and Jersey as well as increasing competition on Aberdeen, Belfast, Glasgow and Edinburgh services (indicative route map copied below).

easyJet’s predicted route map from Heathrow, as published in their submission to the Airports Commission.

In their submission to the Commission, easyJet said: “The average fares of low-cost airlines are significantly lower than those of legacy network carriers. easyJet’s experience suggests that when we enter a route that is only flown by legacy network airlines, our average fares will be 40% lower than that of the legacy airlines.”

“The entry of low-cost airlines on a route leads to lower fares for everyone, as competing airlines also lower their fares.”

Mythbuster: The Airports Commission actually said domestic connections can improve with Heathrow expansion

Sir Howard recently wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport (letter available, here) reiterating the findings of the Airports Commission’s final report – namely that regional stakeholders revealed very clearly the importance that they attach to direct links to Heathrow because of the access provided to its substantial long haul route network.

A third runway at Heathrow would allow further expansion in that network as well as more than trebling the number of domestic passengers able to access it.

The Airports Commission confirmed in its final report (pg 314 – 317) that “a new runway at Heathrow will enhance the domestic connectivity of the UK, strongly benefitting the nations and regions outside London and the South East”.

The Commission also confirmed that Heathrow’s commitments to reduce domestic passenger charges, create a £10m route development fund and reallocation of PSOs could “markedly improve regional connections to the UK’s hub”

Heathrow has been awarded the best airport for shopping for a fifth year running at this year’s Business Traveller Awards.

The awards are voted for by the readers of Business Traveller magazine and are widely recognised as a benchmark for excellence within the business travel and hospitality sector.

Brian Woodhead, Heathrow Commercial Director, said: “We are incredibly proud to win this award for the fifth year running. The Business Traveller Awards are highly regarded within the industry so we are delighted to have been recognised as the Best Airport for Shopping.

“Over 6,500 people from the local boroughs around Heathrow work across our retail units so this award really is a credit to them for providing the excellent shopping experience we know our customers expect from us.”

52,937 square meters of shops!

With more than 52,937 square meters feet of retail space, Heathrow is home to more than 400 outlets and 140 brands.

When Terminal 2 opened last year, Heathrow became the first airport in the world to have its own personal shopping lounge, a John Lewis store and two restaurants created by Michelin starred chefs – The Perfectionists’ Café by Heston Blumenthal and Plane Food by Gordon Ramsay.

Following an investment of more than £40 million and three years of development, Terminal 5’s revealed a new luxury shopping wing earlier this year. Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Rolex, Fortnum & Mason and Bottega Veneta joined the line-up at Terminal 5, cementing the airport’s fashionable reputation amongst frequent flyers.

The terminal now has a collection of 22 fashion and luxury brands, each of which has been beautifully re-designed to echo the store’s flagship location.

The Independent’s Airport of the Year!

The latest award follows on from Heathrow receiving The Independent’s 2015 Airport of the Year Award!

Described as ‘Best in the World’ by the Independent Travel Award panel, Heathrow topped other world class airports including Changhi Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as UK airports London City and Manchester to claim the prestigious Airport of the Year award.

Thank you from all of us at Heathrow to all of our passengers that have made these awards possible!

Oct 16, 2015: Heathrow yesterday welcomed the first Finnair A350XWB commercial flight!

Around 5.50pm yesterday Heathrow welcomed the arrival of the first Finnair A350 XWB commercial flight, the newest and most advanced passenger plane of its kind.

The Airbus A350 XWB’s cutting-edge technology reduces both nitrogen oxide emissions and noise, helping Heathrow be a better neighbour to local residents.

How the A350 is quieter and cleaner

Quieter aircraft are an essential part of Heathrow’s efforts to continue to reduce its noise footprint, which a recent Civil Aviation Authority report confirmed is at its smallest level to date.

Today, 99% of aircraft movements at Heathrow are already operated by “Chapter 4 equivalent” aircraft, currently the quietest international standard for aircraft noise certification.

Airbus brings together the very latest in aerodynamics, design and advanced technologies in the A350 XWB to provide a 25 per cent step-change in fuel efficiency compared to its current long-range competitor.

Phasing out the oldest and dirtiest aircraft and encouraging aircraft like the A350WXB to operate at the airport, amongst other measures, has also allowed Heathrow to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 16% over 5 years, and improve local air quality.

Aircraft at Heathrow are 15% quieter than average global fleets

Matt Gorman, Heathrow Director of Environment and Sustainability said: “Thanks to the efforts of partners like Finnair, airlines operate aircraft at Heathrow that are on average 15% quieter than their global fleet.”

“Newer planes like the A350 XWB also have the navigational technology to allow for steeper approaches, a flight procedure which keeps aircraft higher for longer and which Heathrow is beginning to trial this autumn.”

“The A350 XWB’s engines are not only quiet, they also use less fuel, produce fewer emissions, and ultimately help Heathrow be a better neighbour.” – Matt Gorman, Heathrow Director of Environment and Sustainabiliy

“The A350 XWB’s engines are not only quiet, they also use less fuel, produce fewer emissions, and ultimately help Heathrow be a better neighbour.”

Pekka Vauramo, Finnair Chief Executive said: “Finnair is proud to be the first European airline to fly the A350 XWB which is the world’s most modern and efficient aircraft. It is the future of flying and takes customer comfort to a completely new level.”

“The A350 XWB is a much quieter aircraft with considerable savings in CO2 emissions, supporting our ambitious environmental targets.”

Finnair’s A350 XWB will operate out of various locations in Europe over the next two weeks in order to familiarize the crew with the aircraft. Pending delivery, a scheduled commercial service is expected to begin operating with the aircraft early next year.

New aircraft technology helping turn down the noise with expansion

New aircraft technology will ensure that even with expansion at Heathrow, air quality limits will be met and fewer people around the airport will be affected by aircraft noise than today.

For more pics from the flight check out #FinnairA350 on Twitter!

This was confirmed by the Airports Commission in their recommendation to the government, which also stated that at least 200,000 fewer people are expected to be within Heathrow’s noise footprint by the time an additional runway opens.


Heathrow expansion, with a third runway, will create huge benefits for Scotland  by connecting more Scottish exports, businesses and people to the world. We’ve taken a look at the estimated benefits for Scotland with Heathrow expansion, who in Scotland is supporting it and why.

Highlight points:

  • Heathrow expansion will create up to 16,100 jobs and £14bn in economic benefits;

  • Scottish support for Heathrow expansion includes Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Inverness Airports; Inverness, Aberdeen and Grampian, Scottish Chambers, and Glasgow Chambers of Commerce; CBI Scotland;

  • An expanded Heathrow will open new routes including to Inverness and stimulate competition, increase frequencies and lower fares on services to Scotland

Scotland stands on the brink of a huge opportunity. As an historic trading nation, Scotland has always been at the forefront of ingenuity, innovation and export.

Scottish airports are going form strength to strength. As the UK’s only hub airport, Heathrow complements that success – where a direct flight from Scotland isn’t available, it fills the gaps to reach the new and prosperous markets Scotland needs.

As long as Heathrow is full, the world’s ability to connect to Scotland is limited. This places a limit on opportunity, growth and Scottish success.

Heathrow expands Vs Heathrow constrained – What does it mean for Scotland?

This is the choice of two futures: one where Heathrow unlocks the potential for Scotland to connect to the globe and another where it is increasingly cut-off.

The Scottish Government and Scottish MPs and MSPs of all parties have a unique chance to shape the airports expansion debate – it is time to make Scotland’s voice heard.

Creating Scottish jobs

The Commission says expanding Heathrow could deliver up to 16,100 new jobs by 2040, compared to 4,100 from an expanded Gatwick.

Heathrow’s supply chain alone will give a boost to Scottish skills and manufacturing business.

During the construction of Heathrow’s new Terminal 2, Bison Manufacturing based in Uddingston were contracted to provide 40,000 square metres of pre-stressed flooring slabs for Terminal 2’s new 1,300 space car park. The £1.15 million contract accounted for 50% of the factory’s output for eight months, with 20 staff from the local area retained to help meet the increased workload.

What the Airports Commission has said

  • “…for nations and regions where domestic air connections to London remain crucial, such as Scotland… expansion will create space at the airport for increased frequencies and new links.”

  • “Providing new capacity at Heathrow would support trade and enhance productivity, strengthen the business clusters around the airport and provide a stiumuls to economic growth throughout the UK.”

  • “Our discussions with stakeholders in the nations and regions revealed very clearly the importance that they attach to direct links to Heathrow because of the access provided to its substantial long-haul route network. A third runway at Heathrow would allow further expansion in that network as well as more than trebling the number of domestic passengers able to access it.”

On July 1, 2015, the Airports Commission put forward a clear and unambiguous recommendation for Heathrow expansion as the best option for the whole of the UK.


  • Regional Distribution of Employment and Economic Impacts (QUOD, 2015);
  • Airports Commission: Final Report (Airports Commission, 2015)

Heathrow has today released the latest Fly Quiet League ratings with British Airways, Air India and LOT Airlines among the stand-out performers. Another highlight was the 99% adherence to the CO2 saving technique of Continuous Descent Approach.

Airlines are putting more effort into noise reduction at Heathrow according to the results of the latest ‘Fly Quiet League’ which tracked the noise performance of aircraft from April to June 2015.The Fly Quiet League table compares each of the top 50 airlines (according to the number of annual flights through Heathrow) across six different noise metrics.

Highlights include:

  • Air India moves up 20 places (from 35th to 15th place), Lufthansa is up nine and South African up 18 – all due to their huge improvement on keeping within Heathrow’s noise preferential routes

  • No early morning, pre-4:30 am flying restriction violations – compared to two last quarter

  • SAS is up five places to ninth place putting the airline in the top ten quietest airlines and LOT is up two places because of their use of Continuous Descent

  • Approach, a quieter flight procedure where pilots descend at a steadier rate and avoid a traditional approach which flies at low altitudes for longer

What is Continuous Descent Approach?

Heathrow is a pioneer in the use of the Continuous Descent Approach, with over 85% of arriving aircraft adhering to this quieter flight procedure as they arrive into the airport.

CDA involves aircraft maintaining a steady angle of approach when landing at the airport, as opposed to stepped approaches which involve prolonged periods of level flight. This reduces noise because it requires less engine thrust and keeps the aircraft higher for longer.

Since the inception of the Fly Quiet League, Heathrow’s technical teams have been working with airlines to improve their use of Continuous Descent Approach.

Heathrow’s CEO, John Holland-Kaye took this a step further when he wrote to airlines’ executives last year asking for them to improve on their scores. This has led to marked improvements – with LOT moving up from 60% to 99% adherence and Austrian moving up from 63% to 90%.

Heathrow’s noise footprint now smaller than ever…

An independent report by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) published recently shows a significant reduction in the area and number of homes affected by noise from Heathrow’s operations.

For example, over the past 9 years, the area around the airport affected by higher levels of night noise (measured by 60dB Lnight), has decreased by 25%.

This has resulted in 25% fewer households affected by these noise levels at night. Had the population and households remained static during this period, there would be 42% fewer homes affected by these noise levels at night.

Matt Gorman, Heathrow’s Sustainability and Environment Director commented on the latest Fly Quiet results and noise footprint reduction, saying that while big improvements have already been made “we we have to do more”.“The Civil Aviation Authority recently released a report showing Heathrow’s noise footprint is smaller than ever. But we know we have to do more to provide greater respites for our neighbours,” Gorman said.

Did you know?Airlines already use their quietest aircraft around 15 per cent more on Heathrow routes as a result of the existing tough rules and regulations, and this programme is to ensure the trend continues.

“We will continue to engage directly with our airline partners to build on the trends we see today.”

“We are pleased to see the great leaps forward made by some airlines in their use of continuous descent approaches into the airport, while innovative noise-reduction tools like steeper approaches are being explored and employed by all our airlines.”

What is the Fly Quiet League?

The Fly Quiet League was launched in February 2014 and every three months it ranks the top 50 Heathrow airlines (by number of flights per quarter) against each other according to six noise related criteria.

Airlines receive a red/amber/green rating for each criterion, as well an an overall score which allows airlines to understand how they are performing in relation to other airlines.

If they are not meeting the minimum performance targets, Heathrow works closely with them to improve their rating.


By Heathrow

Published 12th October 2015