BAA commissioned TRL to undertake a benchmarking exercise of London Heathrow’s air quality policies. BAA Heathrow has had an Air Quality Action Plan in place since the 1990s and is currently developing an Air Quality Strategy. The benchmarking exercise will inform the development of this Strategy and will be repeated in 2015 and 2020. Questionnaires were sent to relevant contacts identified at 16 European and 12 worldwide airports. Responses were collated and analysed using frequency histograms. Information was obtained on general airport information (number of movements, passengers and runways) and location (distance to nearest housing, prevailing wind direction and any areas sensitive to air quality nearby). Detailed information on air quality policies and assessments was requested, including specific strategies or action plans, air quality monitoring and modelling, emissions inventories, airside and landside vehicle-related policies, heating-plant policies and modes of travel. Results were presented for each category. In summary, the number of air quality initiatives, including aircraft policies, airside policies and landside policies was totalled for each airport surveyed. Heathrow was found to be amongst the top three worldwide airports surveyed and ranked number one amongst the European airports surveyed. Recommendations for improving air quality and environmental policies were presented to BAA Heathrow.

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