FAQs

Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions. If you cannot find an answer to your question, please use the contact details provided to get in touch with the project team.

Environmental

What level of carbon emissions will the proposals produce?

We are committed to playing our part in addressing this challenge by prioritising low carbon solutions throughout the design, construction and operation of Heathrow West, and ensuring that both design and operation are resilient to the likely effects of climate change.

Mitigation measures being considered include the re-use of materials, improving building efficiency (reducing waste, water use etc.), alternative methods of transport during construction and maximising use of public transport.

In line with the requirements of the ANPS, the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) for Heathrow West will quantify carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. The assessment will predict emissions over the lifecycle of the development, ensuring that reasonable worst-case scenarios for construction and operational phases are considered. This information will be available during the Stage Two, statutory, public consultation.

How will this affect air quality in the surrounding communities?

The potential air quality effects associated with operational phase airport emissions (e.g. ground-based traffic movements associated with taxiing aircraft and road traffic) will be assessed using an atmospheric dispersion model.  The predicted ground-level concentrations will be assessed against the relevant ambient air quality standards and guidelines.

Once we have assessed the potential air quality impacts, we will be able to determine the type and level of mitigation measures required to reduce potential adverse effects.  The Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS) lists a number of mitigation measures relevant to the construction and operational phases. We will assess these measures, and others, to determine which could be put forward to minimise potential air quality impacts associated with the Heathrow West project.

Mitigation measures being considered include; zero- or low-emission hybrid or electric vehicle use (ultra-low emission vehicles), charging and fuel facilities; modernised heating supplies in airport buildings.

How will the effects on noise pollution be assessed?

An extensive noise survey will be undertaken to provide a full understanding of the existing conditions against which effects will be assessed using industry standard noise modelling software. The predicted noise levels will be assessed against the relevant standards and guidelines.

Once the expected noise level impacts have been determined, we will be able to work out the type and level of mitigation measures required to reduce the potential noise impacts. The ANPS lists a number of mitigation measures relevant to the construction and operational phases such as optimising the distance between source and noise-sensitive receptors, and minimising noise through screening by natural barriers or other buildings. We will ensure that the most appropriate and effective measures are taken forward in consultation with local communities and other stakeholders. Our impact assessment will consider the links between noise and health, amenity, and quality of life.

Mitigation measures being considered include optimising the distance between source and noise-sensitive receptors and incorporating good design to minimise noise transmission, through screening by natural barriers or other buildings.

What are the impacts on the historic environment?

We consider preservation of the historic environment a key priority, as it forms a major part of local, regional and national character. The protection of heritage assets represents an important design principle for the project.

We recognise that while our development needs to seek to avoid loss or harm to heritage assets, due to the scale of the expansion proposals some loss is unavoidable. We also acknowledge that there is the potential for the settings of heritage assets to be affected (for example from visual or noise impacts).

A programme of historic environment surveys is underway, to ensure that we have a thorough understanding of the area’s history and archaeology. This will enable us to make informed decisions about how Heathrow West should progress, whilst minimising impact to the historic environment.

What are the ecological Impacts?

Heathrow West will seek to ensure net biodiversity gain for the project by incorporating ecological enhancement opportunities. We will be undertaking a wide range of ecological surveys for plants and animals to help determine the ecological value of the habitats that surround the airport.

The priority will be to avoid impacts on plants and animals through sensitive design of the project. For example, the loss of trees and hedgerows will be avoided wherever possible. Where this is not possible, we will seek to minimise impacts through a range of measures that will be agreed with Natural England and other relevant stakeholders.

Potential biodiversity gains include improving habitat connectivity within the proposed development boundaries as well as its connection to the wider area. Any identified opportunities will be secured through agreements with statutory bodies such as Natural England, the local wildlife trust and other relevant interest groups.

How big / tall will the infrastructure be? What will be the visual impact?

A detailed visual assessment will be carried out to identify where impacts will be most significant, in accordance with the indicative design of the site. These measures will evolve as investigations and surveys are completed.

More information will be available at a later stage as the Stage Two, statutory consultation and design proposals progress.