As the UK’s hub airport, Heathrow brings significant economic and social benefits to the country and the surrounding area, but those benefits do not mean that a third runway should go ahead at any cost.


We believe that a third runway should only go ahead within strict environmental limits, which is why developing Heathrow sustainably is a key objective for us.

Feedback from our extensive consultations with stakeholders and communities has seen our plans designed around avoiding impacts on the communities and the natural environment.

Sustainable design

Heathrow’s new plans show that expansion is not a choice between the environment and the economy as expansion at the airport will deliver for both.

Heathrow Green Spaces CGI 2

Significantly, analysis from the Airports Commission has also shown that air quality will improve while noise effects for local communities will reduce with expansion.

As the Airports Commission described, “An expanded Heathrow would be a better neighbour for local communities than the airport is today.”

Key elements of Heathrow’s sustainable expansion design are:

  • A reduction in the number of people affected by noise by at least 200,000 and periods of respite for every community around the airport;
  • Improved air quality thanks to new technologies, more efficient infrastructure and additional public transport;
  • Almost 60% of passengers using public transport by 2040;
  • The provision of new green spaces and flood protection for local communities;
  • A commitment to being resource efficient – cutting carbon emissions from energy use at the airport by 60% compared to today;
  • One of the UK’s most generous compensation schemes of +25% above market value to homeowners within the property compensation zone;
  • The doubling of apprentices created at the airport to 10,000 by 2030;
  • Up to 40,000 local jobs.

See some of the sustainability initiatives Heathrow is already working on

Sources: Taking Britain Further (Heathrow, 2014), Airports Commission: Final Report (Airports Commission, 2015), Heathrow’s North-West Runway Air and Ground Noise Assessment (AMEC, 2014)

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