Heathrow’s driverless PODs are helping to pave the way for new driverless shuttles in Greenwich, if all things go to plan with the new GATEway project involving Westfield Sportscars and Oxbotica.
Heathrow will be working in collaboration with Westfield Sportscars, and Oxbotica, to develop new iconic automated pods for public trials this summer.
Using entirely British engineering and software capabilities, the three companies will develop pods capable of operating fully autonomously and safely on the streets of London, as part of the GATEway driverless car project in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
The three companies, who have joined the GATEway project as consortium members, will be working together to develop the existing Ultra PODS currently in service at Heathrow Airport.
What’s a POD and what do they do?
Operating at Terminal 5 for nearly five years, these zero-emission, battery operated pods have carried more than 1.5 million passengers, and eliminated the need for 700,000 bus journeys and their associated emissions on local roads to the airport.
Led by Westfield Sportcars, these pods will now be adapted to navigate the streets of Greenwich without the need for dedicated tracks.
The addition of the new consortium members brings a wealth of expertise to the GATEway project. Westfield will act as the vehicle integrator and manufacturer of the pods, responsible for the design and testing of the vehicles and ensuring that, where possible, they are manufactured in accordance with the current type approval requirements.
Heathrow Enterprises will be responsible for vehicle software engineering, while Oxbotica will be deploying its vertically integrated autonomy solution, which includes mapping, localisation, perception and trajectory planning, to enable the safe operation of fully driverless shuttles in Greenwich.
It will also implement an innovative cloud-based shuttle management system, enabling the shuttles to operate as part of a synchronised, self-governing ecosystem, complete with smartphone booking applications, monitoring and reporting.
“The GATEway Project is a fantastic opportunity to seize on the potential of our leading-edge ‘Ultra POD’ technology, which has already removed 70,000 bus journeys a year from Heathrow roads and the equivalent of 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.” – Steve Chambers, Heathrow
Steve Chambers, Director of Engineering and Asset Management at Heathrow said: “The GATEway Project is a fantastic opportunity to seize on the potential of our leading-edge ‘Ultra POD’ technology, which has already removed 70,000 bus journeys a year from Heathrow roads and the equivalent of 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.”
More about the GATEway project…
The GATEway project (Greenwich Automated Transport Environment) is an £8 million project jointly funded by Innovate UK and industry. Led by TRL, which has over 50 years’ of experience in vehicle automation, the project will investigate public perception, reaction and engagement with a range of different types of automated vehicles.
The shuttle trial, which is one of three automated vehicle tests within the GATEway project, will investigate public acceptance of automated shuttle vehicles within the urban mobility landscape. Other trials set to take place in the project include autonomous valet parking and automated deliveries.
Professor Nick Reed, Academy Director at TRL and Technical Director for GATEway commented; “The addition of three prominent and respected British organisations to the GATEway consortium further strengthens the UK’s position as a leader in autonomous technologies.”
“Each company brings a great deal of experience to the project which will prove valuable in helping us to understand how the public and industry will adapt to the use of automated vehicles in the UK Smart Mobility Living Lab test environment in Greenwich. If the trials prove successful, we expect these iconic vehicles to become a familiar sight in many cities around the world.” – Professor Nick Reed, TRL
”Julian Turner, CEO at Westfield Sportscars added: “We’re really pleased to be a part of the GATEway consortium and are looking forward to bringing our innovative, lightweight, technology to a well-known and tried and tested platform.
“As well as a 100% British supply chain, we can bring a number of benefits to the GATEway project, including knowledge of type approval processes and advanced pure electric race and road car technology that will not only ensure the shuttle trials are a success, but help put Greenwich and the UK at the forefront of automated mobility.”
For more information about the project visit www.GATEway-project.org.uk or follow @GATEway_TRL
The Heathrow PODs aren’t the only innovative energy project at the airport. Did you know in Terminal 3 we also have an installation that generates power from footsteps? Find out more, here.
Garuda Indonesia is leaving Gatwick to launch a direct service from Heathrow to take advantage of its unique offering as a global hub for transferring passengers – as well giving UK passengers more flight options.
Garuda Indonesia will move from Gatwick and increase its service from three to five flights a week
The UK’s first non-stop flight to Indonesia will begin services on the 31st of March 2016
The new long-haul route is a rare opportunity at a time when the UK’s European rivals are increasing theirs at twice the rate of the UK’s only hub
From 31st of March 2016, the airline will use its fleet of Boeing 777-300ER’s to operate a five times a week service to Jakarta, an increase to the three times a week service it currently operates from Gatwick, offering passengers a more flexible flight schedule.
Flights to Jakarta will also no-longer stop at Amsterdam, with the move to Heathrow enabling the Skyteam airline to draw on transfer passengers to fly direct from London for the first time.
The increased frequency will boost British businesses, which will benefit from improved direct access to the largest economy in South East Asia and one of UKTIs 17 ‘High Growth Markets’. British exporters in particular will be better positioned to utilise the B777-300ER’s 20 tonne cargo hold, with the direct connection reducing the time it takes to get goods to market, and offering a real alternative to the continental gateways to Asia.
Six years in the making…
Because Heathrow is full, slot availability for long-haul routes is rare. The agreement with Garuda Indonesia took six years to come to fruition, and Heathrow currently has a queue of thirty airlines waiting for slots.
Although some long-haul airlines have attempted to operate from point-to-point airports, many more have instead opted to base their operations at hubs abroad. Last year alone, the UK’s hub competitors grew their long haul seats at almost twice the rate of Heathrow.
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye has welcomed the arrival of the Indonesian carrier at Heathrow.“We are delighted to welcome Garuda Indonesia to Heathrow, securing a regular direct service to one of the largest growth economies in the world. As the UK’s only hub, Heathrow is able to support regular direct flights to 75 long haul destinations not served by any other UK airport,” John Holland-Kaye said.
“With expansion, we can bring the world to Britain’s doorstep by adding up to 40 more long haul routes to high growth markets and more than doubling the number of UK cities served. Britain will be the best connected country in the world, at the heart of the global economy. Let’s make it happen.” Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye
“Making the move to Heathrow Airport has been an ambition of ours since joining SkyTeam in March 2014. Heathrow’s pivotal role in servicing the alliance’s 1,052 destinations makes it an ideal departure airport for our passengers,” Jubi Prasetyo, Garuda Indonesia
Jubi Prasetyo, Garuda Indonesia General Manager UK & Ireland, said, “Making the move to Heathrow Airport has been an ambition of ours since joining SkyTeam in March 2014. Heathrow’s pivotal role in servicing the alliance’s 1,052 destinations makes it an ideal departure airport for our passengers.”Flying non-stop direct to Jakarta means we will truly be the most efficient way to reach Indonesia from the UK.”
More about Jakarta and Indonesia…
As the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta is a city of everything. Frantic nightlife and entertainment, exciting traditional markets, luxurious and complete shopping centers, a variety of international and Indonesian food, including Dutch historical sites to the cultural community activities that offers unique and interesting experience, that awaits you, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week!
While Jakarta features developing modern infrastructure and the country’s largest international airport, cities such as Medan (population 2.1 million), Surabaya (2.8 million) and Bandung (2.5 million) are also rapidly developing.
With a population of almost 250 million people and Gross Domestic Product growth at around 4.5% currently – it’s clear the country presents large business opportunities.
Richard Graham, UK Trade Envoy to Indonesia, has also hailed Garuda Indonesia’s move to Heathrow as an important step for the UK’s economic growth prospects.
“As an island trading nation, air links in to fast growing import markets like Indonesia are vital for the UK’s economic growth prospects. That’s why I am delighted to welcome the announcement that Garuda Indonesia will now have a five times a week, direct route from Britain’s hub airport, helping British business to compete in the global race,” Richard Graham said.
UPDATE: The 2018 Race the Plane event is underway! Find out more here.
Over 300 cyclists, from 28 teams, BEAT the plane by 88 miles in Heathrow’s Race the Plane event for charity Oxfam yesterday!
In total, the cyclists travelled well over 3,500 miles, at an average speed of 609 miles per hour, with the event raising £100,000 for Heathrow’s partner charity – Oxfam.
Each person cycled for 30 minutes on an exercise bike in Terminal 5 departures and had to cover an average of 14 kilometres in that time.
The cyclist to get the furthest – Matt Bottrill from team HSS Hire- cycled a staggering 14.27 miles (22.97km) in the half hour, at an average speed of 28.55mph!
Overall, the teams covered 3,969 miles of cycling – over 500 miles more than the distance travelled by the plane between New York’s JFK Airport and Heathrow.
Pictures from the day…
Hyperlapse video of some of the cyclists in action!
We have to give a big Heathrow thankyou to all of the companies that entered teams in the event including:
- Vanderlande Industries
- Wilson James
- Turner & Townsend
- HSS Hire
- ISS Communications
- Heathrow Express
- Balfour Beatty
- Beumer Group
- Aviation Business Continuity
- UK Power Networks Services
- Smiths Detection
- Morgan Sindall
A BIG thank you to the organisations that helped make the event possible!
From all of us at Heathrow, we also have to say a big thanks to the contributions of Njinga, Capgemini, Lea Valley Colour and No-Nonsense Design in making the day possible.
It’s not too late to donate either! While over £100,000 was raised just through the entry donations of the teams, additional donations can still be made online, here.
See more from the day via @yourHeathrow and #RaceThePlane on Twitter.
Heathrow has today unveiled new images of how expansion at the airport could create a “once in a generation” £105m investment in public green spaces around the Colne Valley.
Heathrow expansion has potential to create new and enhanced public green spaces that will be four times the size of Hyde Park
More than £105 million available in expansion plans for new community buildings and green space creation
Transformational improvements to Colne Valley Regional Park would reduce flood risk, protect biodiversity and create new public spaces for people to enjoy
Heathrow has today unveiled new images of how expansion at the airport could create a “once in a generation” £105m investment in public green spaces around the Colne Valley.
When completed, parkland around the airport would be approximately four times the size of London’s Hyde Park.
The investment is included in the airport’s expansion plans and would create new and enhanced public parkland, as well as wildlife habitats, in west London. This would give local communities more outdoor recreational opportunities, boost biodiversity and improve the look and feel of the area.
The new images released today highlight the improvements, including the potential transformations within the southern part of the Colne Valley Regional Park. Heathrow will work with interested parties to create new wet meadows for flood protection, boosting biodiversity, pastures for grazing animals, bridleways, a cross country course, natural ponds, sports facilities, formal gardens, allotments and even a mountain bike trail for the public to enjoy.
Heathrow is collaborating with the Colne Valley Regional Park Community Interest Company (CIC) on developing this vision if the airport is chosen to expand. The green spaces redevelopment plans would be subject to public consultation as part of a rigorous planning process.
New green areas to the East, North and South of the airport would also be created. Heathrow would work with the Friends of the River Crane to improve the quality of the habitat for watercourses to the east of the airport and increase their public amenity value.
To the North, there is an opportunity to create wetland areas with public boardwalk access, an improved cycle network connecting with local boroughs. Finally, to the South, potentially new and enhanced green spaces would include new, publicly accessible sports facilities
Heathrow has been a corporate supporter of the CIC for many years and continues to work with stakeholders across local communities, to improve environmental conditions in the area.
“Heathrow expansion is an opportunity to provide once in a generation improvements to the physical environment for the communities around the airport. Our new plan means this airport can be world-leading in environmental performance and guarantee that those most impacted by expansion get both the greatest benefits and fair treatment.” Heathrow Director of Sustainability, Matt Gorman
To find out more about our plans for expansion, click here.
UPDATE, 22 January 2016: See the full Race the Plane results, here.
On Thursday 21 January, 28 teams of riders from companies based across Heathrow, will pedal to the limit as they race a plane from JFK to Heathrow in real time. The race is great charity initiative raising £100,000 for Oxfam coined by our very own Nigel Harte who works in our Procurement team.
Teams taking part include Mace, OMNISERV, NATS and our very own Executive team to name just a few.
The event not only will raise a huge amount for charity but also represents the true team spirit of Heathrow with many parties from across the airport working together to reach one goal – beating the plane.
With the Average speed of an aircraft at over 500 miles an hour and the distance between JFK to LHR standing at 3,500 miles, this is by no means a cycle in the park.
The event will be held in the award-winning Terminal 5 and over 360 cyclists are expected to take part on the day.
Keep an eye on @yourHeathrow on Twitter for live tweets from the event!
Heathrow is proud to be supporting the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award 60th Anniversary this year as a Headline Diamond Partner! To celebrate, we’ve gotten involved with today’s launch event at Covent Garden and our own “three-legged” walk.
The DofE is launched its Diamond Anniversary and the DofE Diamond Challenge in true DofE style this in Covent Gardent with a rock climbing challenge.
Heathrow’s Executive Procurement Director Ian Ballentine and Planning Director Simon Earles took part in the climbing challenge.
Simon were also part of Heathrow team that completed a “three-legged” walk from the airport to Covent Garden this morning to get into the spirit of things and raise money for the DofE as part of their own personal Diamond Challenges, before all attempted the wall climb.
As a headline Diamond Partner, Heathrow is joining Amey, British Gas and RSM in supporting the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for the next two years.
More about the Duke of Edinburgh award…
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award charity has been dedicated to helping young people give it their all since 1956.
With every challenge they take on, and every DofE Award they work towards, young people from all walks of life are given a chance to shine – helping to open doors and transform their lives as a stepping stone to a brighter future.
To celebrate the start of the Diamond Anniversary year, the DofE is launching its “Diamond Challenge” on 12 January 2016.
The launch event will begin with a challenge to a group of partners, supporters and celebrities – including Davina McCall and Lawrence Dallaglio – to climb the equivalent of one of the UK’s highest peaks on an 8-metre, 360 degree climbing wall in Covent Garden.
You can donate to the Heathrow team here.
Find out more about the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and how to get involved in the Diamond Anniversary events via their website: http://www.dofe.org/.
Almost 75 million passengers travelled through Heathrow in 2015 making it the airport’s busiest ever year, traffic results released today have revealed.
The final figure, 74.95m, was an increase of 2.2% on 2014 and came as the airport achieved record passenger satisfaction scores and multiple international awards.
Larger, newer, quieter aircraft, contributed to the increase in annual passenger volumes, with seats per aircraft increasing 2.1% to 209, load factors remaining constant at 76.5%.
At the end of 2015, over 20 daily A380 departures and arrivals were operated by eight airlines.
UK’s largest port by value and emerging market growth
The importance of Heathrow to the UK’s economy was highlighted by the almost 1.5 million metric tonnes of cargo that travelled through the airport in 2015.
This coincided with emerging markets continuing to be a driver of traffic growth with passenger volumes up 14% to China, 8% to Latin America and 6% to the Middle East.
December’s monthly results also saw dramatic cargo growth in the emerging markets of Nigeria (+50%), China (+20%), and Turkey (+20%).
Best airport service, passenger satisfaction and international awards
Heathrow’s £11bn investment over the last decade and increased focus on service have seen it take home a swathe of awards in 2015.
Most notably, Heathrow won Skytrax’s “Best Airport in Western Europe” and “World’s Best Airport Terminal”, The Independent’s “Airport of the Year”, and ACI Europe’s “Eco-innovation Award”.
The airport has now also achieved a service quality score of above 4.00 for eight consecutive quarters 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 CEO John Holland-Kaye said the figures are the result of a significant increase in training.
“2015 has been a banner year for Heathrow, serving more passengers than ever and being recognised in a number of awards as the best major airport in Europe for both passenger service and eco-innovation. The record levels of passenger satisfaction are due to a significant increase in training, apprenticeships and the number of front line colleagues moving into management roles,” Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye
“Our new expansion plan will make Heathrow the most sustainable hub airport, and Britain the best connected country in the world. We are ready to serve.”
On behalf of all of us at Heathrow, thank you to all of our passengers and fans for a great 2015! We look forward to seeing you all again soon!
The 2016 Heathrow Jobs and Careers Fair is just around the corner – 11 February 2016 – so we thought we’d take a look back at last year’s fair, who’s going to be there this year, and where you can find out more details!
Now in its 9th year, the Heathrow Jobs and Careers Fair is a full-day, free to attend event that is open to all schools and college groups in the airport’s five surrounding boroughs.
Last year, over 6,000 people attended the event which featured over 50 stalls hosted by companies that employee people across the airport.
Sundeep Sangha, Heathrow’s Head of Economic Development said after the event that, “The popularity of Heathrow Career’s Fair has grown exponentially since its inception – to the point that we believe it has now become the UK’s largest single day careers fair.
This event is a fantastic opportunity to link brilliant local young candidates to long-term careers at the airport, and demonstrate the value of giving back and investing in local communities by volunteering.”
Over 50 stalls and 6,000 people are expected again at this year’s event.
Heathrow is one of the largest single-site employers in the UK
As one of the largest single-site employers in the UK, Heathrow has a unique role to play in the economic development of the region, as well as all of the UK. Over 76,500 people are directly employed at over 400 companies in Heathrow alone. A total of 114,000 jobs are supported in the local area by the operation of Heathrow Airport – representing 1 in 5 jobs (22%) in the local area.
Nevertheless, youth unemployment remains an issue, as it currently accounts for around a third of all unemployment in the area around Heathrow. Should Heathrow airport be allowed to expand, the number and range of jobs created would have the potential to end youth unemployment in the five local boroughs entirely, and would double the number of apprenticeships across the airport to 10,000
Who can attend attend the event?
Although the event is targetted to school children and young job seekers, aged 16-25, anyone can attend the event during the 3.30-7:00pm session.
What companies are going to be there?
We’re expecting 60 exhibitors at the event including:
- Cathay Pacific Airways
- Caviar House & Prunier
- Dixons Travel
- British Airways
- Kurt Geiger
- Plaza Premium Lounge
- Sunglass Hut
- World Duty Free
- Lovell Partnerships
- Met Office
Stay up to date with our Facebook event…
Stay up to date with the latest news on the event via our Facebok event page, here. We’ll be posting profiles from people that already work at Heathrow about what it’s like to work at the UK’s busiest airport, as well as handy reminders and tips for the event.
For full details on the event, please visit http://www.heathrowjobsandcareersfair.co.uk/ or tweet us @yourHeathrow.
Overseas visitors touching down at Heathrow, will be introduced to the quirks of modern British life by national treasure Stephen Fry, in a new video guide.
The much loved actor, writer, comedian, presenter and director, Stephen Fry, renowned for classic TV shows including QI, Blackadder and Jeeves and Wooster, has teamed up with BAFTA award-winning scriptwriter Graham Linehan to create ‘Stephen Fry’s Guide to the UK,’ a tongue-in-cheek welcome video for the airport, giving visitors tips and tricks on handling etiquette in the UK.
Advice from Fry includes what to do when conversation breaks out with strangers, the importance of mastering ‘the agreement rule,’ cheering upon the smashing of plates and glasses, and navigating the awkward ‘after you’ loop, all the while stressing the importance of making yourself at home.
Follow the conversation on social media using #UKGuide.
To mark the launch of the video, Heathrow commissioned research, asking 1,000 international visitors what they love most about a trip to the UK, from famous sights and sounds to their favourite words.
Speaking about the video, Stephen Fry commented: “From Snowdon to the Scottish Highlands and London to Londonderry, modern Britain is a truly extraordinary place. With a fantastic blend of cultures and traditions, we’re a nation renowned for its sense of humour, unspoken rules and little quirks. No matter where you go, you’re sure to talk about the weather, will need something waterproof to hand, and are likely to meet someone who feels the need to apologise profusely for everything they do. In fact our nation’s gentle apologetic manner is one of the things that I miss most when I’m out of the country.”
“I hope people enjoy watching the video, which celebrates some of our wonderful eccentricities and welcomes people to the UK with a good old dose of British humour.”
What do international visitors love most about the UK?
To mark the launch of the video, Heathrow commissioned research, asking 1,000 international visitors what they love most about a trip to the UK, from famous sights and sounds to their favourite words. The ancient site of Stonehenge has been plucked from the plethora of stunning destinations on offer, to be crowned the number one place to visit outside of London, closely followed by historic hotspots Edinburgh Castle and the legendary Loch Ness in Scotland.
Top five destinations are:
2. Edinburgh Castle
3. Loch Ness
4. Sherwood Forest
5. The Roman Baths
The video also celebrates some of the many traditions and icons beloved by Brits and visitors alike and it seems the setting resonates with those visiting British shores, as the traditional pub is revealed to be tourists’ favourite thing about the UK, followed by our sense of humour.
The top five things visitors love about the UK:
1. Traditional pubs
2. British sense of humour
3. Double decker buses
4. Glorious countryside
5. Elaborate history
Whilst the video gives some insight into the nation’s idiosyncratic behaviours, visitors are also sure to come across some of our more peculiar words and phrases, no matter where they are heading once they touch down on UK soil. Plucked from our eclectic vocabulary, the top five words visitors love are:
3. Nice one
Click here to view the original article and see more tips.
What was the number 1 Heathrow social media highlight from 2015? We’ve taken a look at the top 6 moments in what was another big year for Heathrow Airport!
6. New CGI images released of Heathrow expansion
In October/September we unveiled new images of Heathrow with a third runway and expansion – and they proved very popular with our social media fans! The images brought to life the potential of expansion showing how the airport will be radically transformed from a new look airfield formation to new hotel facilities and a business park.
Over half a million people saw our posts about the images across our channels – while they were also covered by the BBC, ITV, CITY A.M and The Daily Mail. Read more…
5. #Votemeairside winners go airside at Heathrow
For AvGeeks a tour airside at Heathrow is not only a much dreamt of experience – but a prize that money can’t buy! To celebrate ITV’s Britain’s Busiest Airport – Heathrow we held our very first #Votemeairside photo competition to win a special access visit airside at the UK’s busiest airport!
Over 300 people entered by sharing a photo with us and in total over 15,000 votes were cast! Our winners got a trip up the control tower and an afternoon touring around the airfield – with some spectacular photos taken while they were there! Read more…
4. Terminal 1 closes after 47 years
The 29th of June 2015 marked the end of an era – the closure of Heathrow’s Terminal 1 (see #T1lightsoff) after 47 years! When it was opened by Her Majesty the Queen in 1968 it was the biggest short-haul terminal of its kind in Western Europe.
British Airways’ flight 970 to Hanover was the last from the terminal with many of the passengers travelling on it solely due to the occasion! Read more…
3. Heathrow Arsenal FC transfer deadline day tweet goes viral
With the English Premier League Football transfer period having reached “Deadline Day”, we thought we’d get involved in the online banter with some tweets of our own. What we didn’t expect was for our tongue-in-cheek tweet about Arsenal fans’ frustration on the club’s transfer activities – to go viral.
The tweet (below), was retweeted almost 7,000 times and viewed by almost 1 million people. It was also covered by the Evening Standard, The Mirror, and the Telegraph. Read more…
2. Britain’s Busiest Airport – Heathrow
ITV’s Britain’s Busiest Airport – Heathrow, a 3-part behind the scenes documentary, aired in June and lit up the twittersphere with #BritainsBusiestAirport trending in the UK. To celebrate the show we profiled contributors, teamed up with Qantas to give away a trip to Austalia, took a walk down memory lane with Steve Killick MBE, held the very first #Votemeairside competition (see above) and more!
Our proactive content alone was seen over 2.1 million times on Twitter and Facebook, over 6,900 people entered our holiday competition, and there were over 80,000 pageviews of our content during the series! Read more…
1. Airports Commission recommends Heathrow expansion
On 1 July, the Airports Commission recommended Heathrow expansion as the best option for the UK after looking at almost 50 proposals! The 2.5 year, £20 million, commission made the clear recommendation due to Heathrow providing the greatest economic benefits and jobs created while also meeting environmental limits and reducing noise.
Supporters across the UK and media coverage lit up the twittersphere with “Heathrow” trending for 8 hours! Read more…