Heathrow promises ‘triple-lock’ guarantee to maintain air quality

5 November 2015 (Last Updated November 5th, 2015 18:30)

Heathrow has come up with a triple-lock guarantee to maintain air quality within legal limits of the European Union (EU) while undertaking its expansion with a new runway.

triple lock

Heathrow has come up with a triple-lock guarantee to maintain air quality within legal limits of the European Union (EU) while undertaking its expansion with a new runway.

The environment-related concerns raised by the Airport Commission were answered by Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye.

'Triple-lock' guarantee targets to put environmental implications under control through a three-pronged approach, including enhancement of public transport to the airport, increase in the congestion charge, and use of the new capacity only after ensuring its conformity with the EU laws.

Heathrow aims to control any additional traffic to the airport due to the additional runway, by improving public transport and encouraging the use of new technology and cleaner vehicles.

"Heathrow expansion is not a choice between the economy or the environment - we can deliver both."

It is working with Crossrail and Western Rail to provide rail access from the north, east and west.

Heathrow has its plans ready, if needed, to levy an airport congestion charge that would help to reduce road journeys and emissions and be used in improving public transport facilities.

The charge would only be levied after a widespread consultation and once the public transport alternatives are implemented, it said.

Heathrow also guaranteed the expanded capacity will be used only when it complies with the EU air quality limits.

John Holland-Kaye said: "Heathrow expansion is not a choice between the economy or the environment - we can deliver both. We will boost the economy for the whole of the UK by £211bn, create 180,000 jobs, the potential to eliminate local youth unemployment, and double the number of our apprenticeships, while ensuring we remove people from our noise footprint and meet both EU air quality limits and carbon targets."

Heathrow began imposing fines on airlines for breaking departure noise. This year, it increased the amount charged on all noise breaches.

The Airports Commission recommended Heathrow's expansion plans earlier this month, against similar plans at Gatwick.


Image: Heathrow says it is striving to maintain the EU air quality limit. Photo: courtesy of Heathrow.