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In pictures: How Heathrow is improving air quality and environmental conditions

How is Heathrow already improving air quality and environmental conditions at and around the airport? Here are just some of the ways that Heathrow is already improving environmental conditions at the airport and how it is prepared to do so further with expansion.

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This empty rail station is safeguarded below ground in Heathrow’s Terminal 5 – ready to be used with proposed Southern Rail Access plans. Southern Rail Access will connect large areas of the south of London that have never had direct rail connections with the airport before. By 2032, Heathrow will be connected to 5 different rail lines with the percentage of passengers using public transport to reach almost 60% by 2040 as a result!

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Capable of transporting 500,000 passengers every year from a car park to Terminal 5, the PODs are helping us manage congestion and air quality impacts by eliminating more than 70,000 bus journeys annually. After just 2 years, the pods have travelled close to a million miles and saved the equivalent of 213 tonnes of CO. The first of its kind in the world, the driver-less and electric system is also getting the thumbs up from our passengers. The journey is on demand at the touch of a computer screen, so average waiting time for a pod is 10-15 seconds and 80% of passengers have zero waiting time. Journey time to and from the Terminal is also around ten minutes (60%) less compared to the original buses.

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Heathrow has spent over £20 million on plug-in electric air conditioners at gates around the airport. These Pre-Conditioned Air (PCA) systems allow aircraft to turn off their engines while on stand and make large emission reductions as a result.

G49A1489_1_web Heathrow is already working towards a more efficient “toast rack” formation to ensure taxiing times are as short as possible. Unlike the current layout around Terminal 3, pictured, with expansion Heathrow will have two main terminals, East and West, with parallel satellite terminals evenly spaced between them (see images of Heathrow with expansion here).

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Heathrow has over 2000 species of flora and fauna living in the 100 hectares of biodiversity sites it operates. Included in the areas closest to the airport are reed beds like the one pictured that break down run-off from the runways of water polluted with de-icer.

In the future, the airport has plans in place to cut emissions even further, including by investing £5 million in electric vehicle infrastructure for our 400 airside companies and changing every car or small van we directly own or lease to electric by 2020.

In the future, the airport has plans in place to cut emissions even further, including by investing £5 million in electric vehicle infrastructure for our 400 airside companies and changing every car or small van we directly own or lease to electric by 2020.

5 more facts about Heathrow’s environmental and air quality improvements

  • Heathrow has reduced emissions by 16% over a 5 year period;
  • Terminal 2 | The Queen’s Terminal is the only BREEAM Certified airport terminal in the world for its sustainable design,
  • Over 99% of the construction materials of the previous Terminal 2 were recycled during its demolition;
  • Heathrow has a hydrogen refueling station for vehicles – it was the first publicly accessible station in the UK when it was launched;
  • Heathrow has over 850 electric airside fleet vehicles – believed to be the largest electric airport fleet in Europe

Do you support Heathrow expansion? Make your voice heard

The Government is deciding whether to approve Heathrow’s expansion plans and it is not too late to have your say in this debate. If you support Heathrow expansion, please sign our petition – click here.

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