End of Operational Freedoms trial 28 February 2013.
The Operational Freedoms trial has now ended. The trial was a recommendation of the Government’s South East Airport Taskforce which was set up in 2010. It explored whether new procedures could be used to bring benefits to passengers, by providing a more punctual service; the local community through less late-running flights; and to the environment, by reducing aircraft stacking times and reducing emissions.
The trial ran in two phases. The first phase ran between 1 November 2011 to 29 February 2012. The second phase began on 1 July 2012 and ran until 28 February 2013. More details about each phase can be found in the links below
What happens next? Will the procedures trialled at Heathrow be introduced on a permanent basis?
- The Government has announced that it will carry out a public consultation before taking its final decisions on operational freedoms at Heathrow.
Data was collected and produced throughout the trial on a daily and monthly basis. Daily and monthly data reports from the trial are available at www.heathrowoperationaldata.com.
We would be happy to answer any questions you have. The Heathrow Community Relations team can be contacted on freephone 0800 344844 or by emailing email@example.com.
Q: What is the South East Airports Taskforce?
A: This was set up by the Government in 2010, after the Coalition Government cancelled plans for a third runway at Heathrow and said that it would not allow new runways at Gatwick and Stansted.
Part of SEAT’s work was to look at ways to improve punctuality and reduce aircraft delays, particularly at Heathrow. Heathrow is the most constrained of the three main London airports. Passengers are often delayed because aircraft circle the skies in holding stacks as there is limited runway or stand availability at the airport. This means delays frequently build up at Heathrow.
Similarly, busy terminals mean that planes are often late leaving the airport. The result of this is that there are flights regularly leaving Heathrow after 23:00, despite the last departure being scheduled at 22:30. These late flights can be very disruptive to local residents.
The report published by SEAT in July 2011 covers a range of issues, including work to improve security and the immigration processes. It also sets out the rationale for the trial that ran at Heathrow during 2011/2012, but does not define what procedures would be used.
For information on the South East Airports Task Force visit www.dft.gov.uk/publications/south-east-airports-taskforce