Heathrow Airport has unveiled a number of initiatives which it believes will allow it to build a third runway in a carbon neutral manner.

The UK airport operator says it plans to focus on cleaner aircraft technology, improvements to airspace and ground operations, sustainable aviation fuels, and carbon offsetting methods in order to "reduce and offset" carbon emissions from the growth in flights resulting from an additional runway.

On aircraft technology, the airport says it will treat environmental performance of aircraft as a "key consideration" in the allocation of slots for new flights. It also plans to incentivise cleaner and quieter aircraft through lower airport charges.

In October, Heathrow said it would waive landing fees for electric aircraft and it now says it plans to review the "infrastructure requirements" for charging electric aircraft at its facilities.

On airspace and ground operations, Heathrow says it intends to support UK government plans on modernise its airspace and reduce emissions from aircraft on the ground through reduced taxi times, increased access to on-stand power sources, and encourage the use of fewer engines during taxing.

Heathrow intends to provide the necessary airport infrastructure, and support for pilot projects, to promote the use of sustainable alternative fuels.

The UK hub says it will continue investing in methods of carbon offsetting such as peatland restoration. A pilot project is already underway in Lancashire, it adds.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye says the gateway will seek feedback from the aviation industry, advocacy groups and climate change experts on its plans and from the wider community during public consultations on its expansion during the summer of 2019.

Earlier this year, transport secretary Chris Grayling said the government would only grant final development consent to expand Heathrow if it remained "satisfied" that a new runway will not impact on the UK's compliance with its air-quality obligations.

Source: Cirium Dashboard