The ACI EUROPE Best Airport Award in the category for airports with ‘over 25 million passengers’ went to London Heathrow for the second consecutive year, with the judges recognising its effective operations enhancements, partnership with ATC and airlines, and its engagement with the community, environment and charitable causes.
London Heathrow Airport certainly enjoyed a positive first half of 2016. In addition to winning the ACI EUROPE Best Airport Award in the ‘over 25 million passengers’ category, it achieved a record Airport Service Quality score. Passenger numbers were up 0.6% to 35.7 million in the first half of the year, and cargo volumes increased by 1.7% with Heathrow’s links to fast-growing economies boosting British businesses.
“Heathrow has been named the best major airport in Europe for the third time and I am very proud of the work our colleagues do every day while giving better value to passengers,” explains John Holland-Kaye, CEO London Heathrow Airport. “As the UK’s biggest port, we are supporting businesses from every corner of Britain to get their products to global markets, with cargo volumes up by almost 2%. Now Britain needs a positive post-Brexit plan and only Heathrow expansion will help Britain to be one of the world’s leading trading nations – connecting all of Britain to global growth. Heathrow has a new plan for expansion, allowing the Prime Minister to make the right choice in the national interest.”
This plan aims to get the UK regions connected to growth quicker and give all of Britain a ‘Brexit boost’. It includes proposals for up to 25,000 more air traffic movements a year on current operational levels, while a third runway is being built – adding an additional £1.5 billion (€1.7bn) to the economy between 2021 and opening of the third runway in 2025. The measures, which are subject to consultation, include working with the UK Government to ring-fence early capacity for domestic flights and long-haul routes to growth, such as new domestic connections to Humberside, Dundee, Newquay or Liverpool, and new long-haul trade routes to growth markets like Osaka, Kochi, Wuhan and Quito.
To help establish new domestic connections, Heathrow is proposing an extension of its existing £10 (€11) ‘domestic passenger discount’ for all flights to UK airports until 2037, as long as there is justification and it is deemed to be in the public interest.
Research by Frontier Economics identifies 40 new long-haul trading routes that could be made possible with Heathrow expansion, and also suggests an expanded Heathrow could unlock nearly £60 billion (€66bn) of growth over the first 15 years of Brexit.
“This Brexit Boost Plan is our commitment to making Britain stronger and fairer for everyone – faster,” says Holland-Kaye. “Our proposals for an additional 25,000 flights a year from 2021 would help businesses and families from Newquay to Dundee benefit earlier from Heathrow expansion, while protecting our commitment to meet and exceed the Airports Commission’s environmental conditions.”
Heathrow was commended by the ACI EUROPE Best Airport Award judges for its environmental initiatives. The airport is accredited at Level 3 Optimisation of ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation, and recently launched its second ‘Blueprint for Noise Reduction’.
“Heathrow shares a common objective with local residents: we want to make the skies around us quieter,” Holland-Kaye comments. “The arrival of new, quieter aircraft and the start of our programme to install 50 new noise monitors will help us to accelerate the reduction in the noise impacts of Heathrow. Our new plan for a third runway means that we will reduce the number of people affected by noise even with expansion, while increasing the social and economic benefits that Heathrow provides.