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Local air pollution

A range of emissions in European and UK cities contribute to local air pollution and we are committed to playing our part in improving air quality in the local area around Heathrow.  As well as activities at the airport, local emissions come from surrounding roads, industry and housing.

We are working with partners to reduce emissions from aircraft, vehicles and buildings to make sure we act as a responsible neighbour and play our part in meeting EU and UK Government limits.





Our ambition

Work with partners to reduce emissions from aircraft, vehicles and buildings and act as a responsible neighbour.



At least 5% reduction in ground- based NOx emissions from the airport (2008/9) by 2020

Performance: Ground based NOx emissions includes emissions from aircraft on the ground, airport related road traffic and vehicles operating airside.  A full emissions inventory for 2013 is currently underway and expected to be complete in December 2014, at which time we will be able to report changes in emissions since the last inventory for 2008/9


90% Air Quality Strategy actions on-track or complete annually 

Performance: 86% actions were on track or complete in 2012.  An independent verifier is assessing 2013 performance


Work with partners to reduce emissions to help to meet EU Limit Values at local air quality monitoring stations (within 2km of the airport) annually

Performance: 8 out of 9 local monitoring stations reported within EU limits in 2013


Greater than 85% compliance with Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) running time allowances by 2020

Performance: Compliance has improved between 2012 (78.64%) and 2013 (84.15%)


Increase proportion of cleanest aircraft by international standards ( CAEP/6 equivalent or better)  to 55% by 2020

Performance: Proportion of CAEP/6 aircraft is increasing year on year, from 44.8% in 2012 to 46.18% in 2013


Reduce proportion of pre-CAEP aircraft to 0% by 2020

Performance: 8.7% of aircraft were Pre-CAEP standard in 2012 and 2013  


At least 75% of flights from Heathrow are operated by airlines which have adopted the Sustainable Aviation Departures Code of Practice by 2020

Performance: In 2013, 50% flights were operated by airlines that have adopted the Code



Key for performance as at January 2014


 - Behind progress

 - On track

 - Complete


For more information on our approach to managing local air pollution at Heathrow see;

Our ten-point plan to reduce Heathrow's emissions in 2015: Heathrow's blueprint for reducing emissions

Our briefing Towards a sustainable Heathrow - A Focus on Air Quality

Our Air Quality Strategy

Heathrow Airwatch

Heathrow Clean Vehicles partnership