Agenda item

Presentation from Heathrow Airport Limited

To receive a presentation from Heathrow Airport Limited.


The Committee received a presentation from the Head of Local Strategic Engagement, the Director of Communications and Sustainability and the Head of Carbon Strategy at Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) on Heathrow Airport’s Sustainability Plan: “Heathrow 2.0 Connecting People and Planet”.


HAL explained that the Heathrow 2.0 Sustainability Plan was embedded in the business strategy for the airport.  They stressed that the benefits of aviation should not come at a cost to the planet or society.  The focus of the 2.0 Plan was “net zero aviation” and “a great place to live and work”, with 10 key sustainability objectives which HAL wished to achieve by 2030.


HAL gave examples of net zero target highlights from 2022 and set out targets for 2030, such as cutting emissions in the air by 15% and on the ground by 45%, compared with a baseline of 2019.  


A sustainable travel zone had been created focussing on bus routes and incentives to staff to use public transport to get to work.  There were increased early and late bus and coach services to accommodate shift workers.  There was work on noise management with a new action plan due for 2024-28.  In relation to biodiversity, HAL was working with partners to support a nature network around Heathrow.


Funding was available from the Heathrow Community Trust and Heathrow Community Take Off Fund for initiatives which would benefit the environment or local community groups.  HAL welcomed input from councillors as to how they could do more for the benefit of local residents and were already engaging with local councils.  The Committee noted work with communities in the north of the borough as part of Heathrow’s Giving Back Programme.


The Committee raised a number of areas of concern, including the lack of public transport south of the airport, the need for increased bus, coach and rail routes through the borough, a light rail access link to Heathrow, the lack of tree planting by HAL, local air quality, the small amount of grant funding received by the borough, increased employment at the airport and the potential pressures on local housing.  HAL stressed that geography was not a factor for grant applications and that grants were awarded purely on the quality of the applications received.  They also expressed the wish that jobs would go to local people who already lived in the vicinity of Heathrow.


In accordance with Standing order 32.3 the Chair briefly suspended discussion of this item to allow consideration of the item on Proposed Strategic Community Infrastructure Terms of Reference due to time constraints.  The Committee agreed.


The Committee and HAL discussed the anticipated growth in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) which was waste-based, primarily cooking oils, and noted that a 50% blend could be used in existing aircraft.  The life expectancy of aircraft was around 25 years, but hydrogen fuelled second generation aircraft were expected to enter UK regional services by 2030.  Despite challenges in green hydrogen production it was expected that it would ultimately replace bio fuels.


Questions were asked in relation to the new drop off charge for vehicles entering Heathrow.  The charge had been implemented to address congestion and incentivise passengers to use sustainable transport.  The revenue for HAL would be reinvested into sustainable travel. 


The Committee thanked HAL for their presentation and for facilitating the ensuing discussion.


The Committee resolved to note the presentation from Heathrow Airport Limited. 


Supporting documents: