Heathrow releases new graphic on air quality around airport

1 October 2015 (Last Updated October 1st, 2015 18:30)

Heathrow Airport has released a new graphic that suggests road vehicles are the biggest contributor to air pollution in London.

heathrow graphic

Heathrow Airport has released a new graphic that suggests road vehicles are the biggest contributor to air pollution in London.

The new graphic is based on air quality around the airport and is drawn from an independent nationwide network of pollution monitors run by the government and by local authorities including Defra, Kings College London and Ricardo.

According to the graphic, the nine monitors within 1km of Heathrow airport show that the air quality has been within the limit for the last eight years or more.

The graphic suggests that only two monitors in Heathrow region are violating the outreach, both of which are beside major roads.

"We have made it clear that Heathrow airport has and will continue to play its part.."

One located within 2km of the airport fence, is 35m from the M4 motorway at which 16% of the pollution comes from airport-related sources, while the other, beside a busy road junction in an urban centre, and the airport's emissions are only 6% of its total.

The data suggests that even if Heathrow were completely closed down immediately, there would still be an outreach of the limits at these two locations.

Heathrow Director of Environment and Sustainability Matt Gorman said: "Heathrow understands air quality is a real concern for local communities and it's an issue London needs to tackle urgently. We have made it clear that Heathrow airport has and will continue to play its part.

"But this data shows that the real culprit of pollution in London is road traffic, so we need other partners to play their role. We're working with partners like the Mayor's office on a strategy to reduce emissions from non-airport related road-traffic which is the major cause of pollution in the Heathrow area."

In addition, the airport commission has confirmed that Heathrow Airport can pass all four tests recommended by the Labour Party.

The airport commission has recommended increased aviation capacity with the addition of another runway to the airport, with the recommended expansion to go hand-in-hand with the efforts to reduce CO² emissions from the aviation industry.

The commission also suggested that local noise and environmental impacts have been adequately considered and will be managed and minimised.


Image: New image graphically shows areas immediately around the airport are meeting legal air quality limits now. Photo: courtesy of LHR Airports Limited.