A new approach
Since 2010, we’ve learned from previous plans and have taken a new approach to sustainability and expansion. Our new plans can be delivered within strict UK climate-change targets and provide a combined £3.5 billion for environmental mitigation and local community compensation.
A third runway will be further west than previous proposals, which means that aircraft approaching over West London will be higher in the sky. By introducing steeper angles of descent (which we trialled in 2015), we can cut noise even further for surrounding communities.
The aircraft using Heathrow will also be quieter. We will phase out the noisiest aircraft altogether and incentivise airlines to switch quickly by charging the noisier ones more to land.
By investing in new technologies and practices the airport compared to today will consume less water and less waste per passenger, with over 80% of waste recycled.
The A380 makes half the noise of the Boeing 747, previously the world's largest aircraft, on take off.
The lowest noise levels since the 1970s
By the time a third runway opens, 90% of Heathrow’s air traffic will be quieter, next-generation aircraft such as the Airbus A380, Boeing 787 and Airbus A320NEO.
Heathrow’s noise footprint has already fallen around tenfold since the 1970s, despite the number of flights doubling, and we expect the reductions to continue.
Five steps to reduce aircraft noise
We will also push for the introduction of ‘green slots’, a way of restricting new slots to airlines that operate quieter aircraft.
Compared to other European hub airports, Heathrow already has the strictest limit on night-time operations and the fewest night-time flights and we are not proposing any extra planned night flights.
And for people living under existing flight paths, a three-runway Heathrow will mean fewer disturbed nights and all communities will experience periods of relief from noise. We’re committed to working with local communities to develop our plans further.
Improving air quality
Significantly, our plans will also ensure expansion can be done at Heathrow within air quality limits. Heathrow has already cut emissions by 16% in five years.
Boeing 787 Dreamliners produce 20% fewer emissions than their predecessors.
Planned transport upgrades – including the introduction of Western Rail and Crossrail – are set to contribute to this, with almost 60% of passengers estimated to be using public transport to the airport in 2040.
Our mitigation measures will also include:
- Incentivising staff and passengers to use public transport and make more efficient use of cars, with methods such as taxi backfilling;
- Reducing staff car parking spaces;
- Continuing to increase the use of zero and low emission support vehicles;
- Investigating a congestion charge to reduce the number of people travelling to the airport by car, should this be needed to manage traffic and emissions.
Our New Approach infographic – The North West proposal compared to 2009
To find out how we’ve already listened tolocal communities and improved our plans, click here.