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Airport supporting facilities

To support the operation of an expanded airport land will be needed to accommodate:

  • Airport supporting facilities;
  • Land uses affected by expansion;
  • Airport related development;
  • Areas of landscaping and biodiversity mitigation.

The options that we set out identify a range of sites that may be suitable but not all of this land will be required.

On-airport cargo

Increased cargo capacity at the airport is needed to secure the benefits of an expanded Heathrow. Growth in international trade is vital for our economic future, but our existing cargo facilities will not support this growth.

We are working with cargo operators to review options to increase the use of existing facilities or develop new facilities within the existing airport boundary. We are also reviewing options for providing a truck park for long distance lorry drivers to help to reduce congestion in the cargo area and ‘nuisance parking’ in local communities.

Aircraft maintenance and repair

A larger airport will increase the demand for maintenance facilities such as hangar bays and aircraft engine testing areas.

Our current preference is to work with the airlines to redevelop parts of the existing maintenance area on the eastern side of the airport. We are also looking at providing maintenance facilities on the aprons closer to the terminal areas. Minimising ground noise will be a key consideration in any option we take forward.

DIAGRAM: Possible sites for airport supporting facilities with expansion. Contact a member of our team for more details.
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Other supporting facilities

To accommodate the increased number of flights and passengers using the airport, we may also need more land to accommodate facilities such as aircraft fuel storage, additional water and waste treatment facilities, potential energy generation and areas for capturing and managing surface water run-off for example.

Car parking

Heathrow currently has a cap of 42,000 car parking spaces on airport controlled land for passengers and colleagues, which was imposed as part of our Terminal 5 planning permission. There are also 12,500 tenanted spaces (spaces used by other airport businesses). The car parks are distributed around the airport with frequent bus services providing access to terminals.

Managing our car parking is part of how we will meet our commitment to no more airport related road traffic with a third runway and how we will also ensure that the airport’s contribution to air pollution will not delay the UK’s compliance with EU air quality limits.

Our current thinking is to re-provide existing surface level passenger and colleague car parks that will be lost to the new runway by using a smaller number of multi-level car parking sites which are located near main local access routes and have dedicated access to the front door of the terminals. This will reduce traffic circulating around the airport and benefit local communities but may also require more land closer to communities near the airport boundary.

The long-list of sites we are considering are shown below; not all of these sites will be required.

DIAGRAM: Potential car park locations to replace existing facilities. Contact our team for more information.
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Further information

Airport support facilities are essential to the way that we and our partners at the airport provide services to the public and our colleagues. We are looking to see how we can provide these facilities within the existing or expanded airport boundary, but this may not be possible. For more information please see section 10 of "Our Emerging Plans" and sections 9-15 of our "Scheme Development Report". Both documents are available in the Documents & Resources section of this website.
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