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The way we run our business


Air quality

We have a number of operating initiatives to improve our air quality performance. We have already achieved a reduction in NOx emissions (nitrogen oxide – a greenhouse gas) through the modification of Boeing 747 (RB211) engines and Boeing 777 (GE90) engines. We plan to further modify our Boeing 737 engines to deliver a 20 per cent reduction in NOx.

At Terminal 5 and other airports worldwide, we are able to use aircraft stands with fixed ground power and pre-conditioned air which means we will rely less on aircraft auxiliary power units. We have developed procedures for aircraft to taxi on one less engine after landing, and are now developing similar procedures to taxi out to the runway. These measures will cumulatively reduce CO2 and NOx emissions, fuel consumption and noise.

Fleet modernisation

In response to delivery delays for our new efficient Boeing 787 aircraft, we have contracted for six Boeing 777-300ER aircraft (two acquired, four leased) due to start arriving in 2010, with options on a further four. We have ordered two Airbus A318 aircraft for our transatlantic services from London City Airport. Additionally, we have ordered six Embraer E190SR and five E170 aircraft to replace the RJ85 and RJ100 aircraft currently operated from London City Airport.

We are also improving our performance on the ground. At Terminal 5, we have invested in buses specified to the future Euro 5 exhaust emission standard and a fleet of electric baggage tugs. Remote monitoring by telematics technology is being used to manage fleet efficiency and an automatic fuel management system has been fitted to refuelling equipment at Heathrow. We continue to be a member of the Heathrow Clean Vehicles Programme.

Summary of environmental achievements and targets

  Target 2008a 2007a 2006a
Carbon efficiency gCO2/pkmb 83 by 2025 107 110 110
CO2 emissions (million tonnes)   17.6 17.7 16.6
Heathrow departure noise violations – day   4 1 9
Heathrow departure noise violations – night   32 46 56
Continuous Descent Approach (Heathrow) % – day  95 95 95 84
Continuous Descent Approach (Heathrow) % – night 95 95 94 88
Total waste at Heathrow and Gatwick – including our catering companies (metric tonnes)   26,184 27,121c 26,920
% recycling (Heathrow and Gatwick) 50 per cent by 2010 35.1 30.1 28.9
Waste to landfill (tonnes) (Heathrow and Gatwick) Zero by 2010 3,424 3,688 4,063
Waste per passenger (kg) (Heathrow and Gatwick) reduce by 2 per cent per annum 0.78 0.79c 0.78
Heathrow air quality/NOx emissions to 1,000ft (metric tonnes)   1,081 1,107 1,096

a  Calendar years.

b  With effect from 2008, traffic statistics now include data related to customers who have flown on ‘frequent flyer’ mileage redemption tickets. This change brings the Group into line with industry standards, and also into line with all major scheduled carriers.

c  Increased due to revised data on catering waste.

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