Heathrow releases Then/Now/Future series to highlight potential of expansion

Environmental Infrastructure

Tapping into the spirit of the United Nations Climate Change Conference launched today, Heathrow has released an online series of Then, Now, Future animated images to reflect on the airport’s 70 year transformation and outline its goals to become a leading environmental hub through expansion.

The series features rarely seen historical photos, dating as far back as 1946, images of the airport today, and futuristic impressions of the airport with expansion. The images showcase the evolution of aircraft technology, public transport, and building design which have already reduced carbon emissions at the airport and will have a further impact in the future.

As part of the airport’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions, over the last ten years Heathrow has invested £11 billion in newer, more energy efficient infrastructure. Terminal 2, the only BREEAM (Building Research Establishment’s environmental assessment methodology) certified airport terminal is in part powered by biomass fuel, and has helped to reduce Heathrow’s CO2 emissions by almost 20% since 1990. Heathrow has committed to a 34% reduction in CO2 emissions from energy used in buildings by 2020 (based on 1990 levels) as well as reducing CO2 from the airports vehicles by a rapid transformation of the Heathrow Airport Ltd fleet of cars and small vans to electric by 2020.

Industry partners are all doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint. Boeing, Airbus and Rolls Royce are reducing emissions and noise from aircraft; British Airways and Virgin are experimenting with transforming waste to sustainable jet fuel; NATS is simplifying airspace to reduce carbon use; and Heathrow has invested in public transport, car sharing, cycling, electric pods.  The aviation industry as a whole is close to an historic global deal on emissions trading, something it has campaigned for years.

Heathrow’s Director of Sustainability and Environment Matt Gorman said the series highlights some of the “untold” success stories of Heathrow while showing what can be achieved with expansion.

“Heathrow has so many great stories to tell of how the airport has evolved to meet our environmental challenges and improve passenger experience and efficiency over many decades,” Matt Gorman said.

“Expansion is a chance for a better, bigger Heathrow that is built and designed to be sustainable, that provides a world class passenger experience and is a better neighbour to local communities too.

“It’s a chance to take advantage of new technology and design to make a cleaner and quieter airport while also adding up to 180,000 jobs and £211bn economic benefits to the UK.

“We hope these images will really highlight the potential of expansion.”

Heathrow expansion was the clear and unambiguous recommendation of the Airports Commission for maintaining the UK status as a global aviation hub.

The recommendation announced on 1 July 2015 was the culmination of a 2.5 year comprehensive process costing the UK Government £20 million. The Government have stated they will be responding to this recommendation before the end of the year.