LONDON: Heathrow Airport introducing stricter environmental charges to propel airlines to use cleaner and quieter aircraft, it said today.
It is also cutting domestic passenger charges as the airport looks to fully convince airlines and MPs with its expansion plans.
Environmental charges are rising seven per cent from this month, as the London airport encourages carriers to deploy their newest aircraft at Heathrow.
It has also started compiling regular updates of a league table ranking airlines at the airport for which are the quietest, and which are the dirtiest and noisiest.
Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye said that Heathrow is determined to reduce the airport’s environmental impacts. Increasing our environmental charges to incentivize airlines to bring their cleanest, quietest aircraft to Heathrow is the best way to cut emissions and shrink the noise footprint around the airport.
It is a tangible step that will make a real difference to local communities.
Heathrow has also trimmed airport charges for UK fliers, announcing a 50 per cent rise in the discount for domestic flights.
Starting this month, passengers flying to any UK destination from Heathrow will have a £15 discount on the airport charges they pay, which the airport said will result in savings of nearly £40m annually.
Heathrow said as well as saving passengers money, the discount should also make domestic routes more commercially viable for airlines. The announcement forms part of its plans to bolster its domestic connections from eight today to at least 14 when the airport plans to expand in 2025.
Holland-Kaye added: “Every corner of our country should be able to benefit from the growth and trade that stems from links to the nation’s hub airport – that’s why Heathrow is making it cheaper to fly within the UK by reducing our domestic passenger charges even further for the second consecutive year.”
However, Carriers including British Airways, EasyJet and Ryanair have threatened to withdraw support for the third runway if charges aren’t kept the same or lowered.
Trade body Airlines UK said last month that passenger charges at the airport “are the highest in the world, therefore it is simply untenable to increase them further to fund expansion”.
The body, for UK-registered airlines and other carriers with a major UK operation, added: “Support for the project is conditional on charges being kept level with the ambition for lower charges over time. Carriers will reserve the right to withdraw support if this does not happen.”
The government’s national policy statement on Heathrow is expected to go before MPs in the first half of this year.