Pillar 4: A sustainable approach

We pride ourselves on being a considerate neighbour and limiting our effect on the environment. That’s why we are aiming to be a carbon neutral airport by 2030.


We have been working hard to make existing facilities more energy efficient, for instance by introducing low energy lighting and replacing apron floodlights with LEDs.

In recognition of efforts to map our carbon output and reduce its effect, we were awarded Airport Carbon Accreditation26 in 2015. Looking to the future, our focus will be on limiting the impact of more flights on our neighbours by harnessing innovation and advances in technology alongside smarter working practices.

Climate change: a global approach

Since our previous Master Plan the global aviation industry has committed to achieving carbon-neutral growth by 2020 and the International Civil Aviation Authority has reached an agreement on a global Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

In the UK, Sustainable Aviation published a CO2 roadmap in 2012 setting out how an expected 150 per cent rise in air traffic between 2010 and 2050 could be met with only a limited increase in emissions. A progress report in 2016 showed the roadmap to be on track and in line with the UK Committee on Climate Change recommendations.


Progress so far

As well as participating in an industry-wide initiative called Sustainable Aviation, we work in close partnership with airlines at a local level, monitor adherence to noise preferential routes and use continuous descent approaches which are quieter and encourage the use of less fuel.

We also manage and mitigate noise through our Noise Action Plan and have developed an online tracker tool available so local people can plot radar tracks of aircraft against their location on the ground. Since 2012 our Environmental Improvement Fund has donated more than £500,000 to the local communities most affected by our operations, including over £200,000 in noise insulation grants.

Ambitions for the future

By operating efficiently, promoting procedures which reduce energy use and investing in renewable technology we will be net carbon neutral by 2030. We will also look to enhance natural habitats for wildlife and local green infrastructure, and improve the visual appearance of the airport from beyond our boundary through thoughtful use of landscaping.

New aircraft and air navigation technology will help reduce individual flight noise and emissions. For instance, the new performance based navigation routes we have introduced on approaches from the south may in future keep aircraft on narrower and more consistent tracks, allowing us to develop better routings and potentially offer periods of respite.

26Airport Carbon Accreditation is an independently administered, institutionally-endorsed voluntary programme supported by Airports Council International (ACI)

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