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Improve air quality

Heathrow bus outside terminal building

Air quality is often an issue for people living in urban areas. Burning fossil fuel to create energy for vehicles, housing and industry emits pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particles (eg. PM10). As these pollutants can affect human health, air quality limit values haven been set by the European Union.

As the airport operator, we control some sources of local air pollution directly. In other cases, such as emissions from aircraft and local transport, we work with partners to guide and influence Heathrow's performance.

Our approach to managing air quality  impacts around Heathrow  is outlined in the report: Towards a sustainable Heathrow - a focus on air quality. For more information see the Air Quality Strategy.

We monitor air quality around Heathrow to identify the contribution of different sources to NO2, particles, and ozone concentrations at fixed points around the airport. Detailed information is available in Heathrow Airwatch  website www.heathrowairwatch.org.uk.


Air quality management approach

We control:  Emissions from Heathrow vehicles sources such as the boiler plant
By:  Purchasing / leasing choices and managing their use.

We guide: Emission from Airport  staff travel, aircraft on the ground, third party operational vehicles
By: Policies, standards and operating procedures (for example, landing fees and operating standards instruction , OSIS).

We influence: Passenger travel to and from the airport and aircraft during landing and taking off
By: Engaging with stakeholders  to develop and promote solutions to manage NOx and other  emissions.

For more information on our progress in this area see our Action Plan Summary (449KB PDF)



Sustainability awards

Sustainability BITC pink planters