London’s Heathrow Airport has announced that the first electric-hybrid aircraft will not have to pay Heathrow’s landing charges for an entire year when it is put into regular service at the UK’s international hub. The airport said it is looking to leverage its role as one of the world’s leading airports to drive sustainable change across the industry.
On October 16, at the BusinessGreen Leaders’ Summit in London, Heathrow’s CEO, John Holland-Kaye, launched an innovation incentive, valued at nearly £1 million. There are already more than 100 electric aircraft projects underway across the world and current industry thinking suggests electric aircraft could touch down at major international airports by 2030. Innovators are facing two main hurdles though – the cost of development and current demand. Mr Holland-Kaye said the prize had been designed to incentivise airlines to invest in electric technology, helping to increase demand and speed up the arrival of zero-emissions flights at the UK’s biggest airport, adding: “Heathrow has long been a leader in sustainable aviation. We championed carbon neutral growth in global aviation, which will come into effect in 2020. The next frontier is zero carbon flying, and I hope this prize will help to make it a reality at Heathrow by 2030.”