Heathrow electric plane greenwash – tiny subsidy for one plane …years ahead ….
Date added: October 16, 2018
Heathrow has made its latest greenwashing attempt. This time it is saying it is to let the first electric hybrid plane have a year’s free landing slots, when in regular service. This is – quote -“designed to encourage airlines to pursue clean growth and deploy their cleanest, quietest aircraft at Heathrow.” This is part of the oxymoron, “clean growth” which business is aiming for. (Clean – totally abused word with aviation sector – is probably meant to mean lower carbon, in this context.) So far there is – wait for it – a plane that can carry 2 passengers …. Heathrow is telling the government etc that it is helping to “drive sustainable change across the industry.” The aviation industry hopes there might be electric aircraft carrying passengers by 2030 (so the Heathrow offer is not exactly imminent …) Here is a Heathrow quote, showing just how much carbon greenwash this is: “With global air passengers expected to double by 2035, these changes will play a critical role in driving a sustainable future for the aviation sector and will support goals outlined in Heathrow’s own sustainability strategy – Heathrow 2.0.” Aviation Minister, Liz Sugg, said: “Our Aviation Strategy [consultation soon] will also consider further ways to support the development of cleaner, greener technology in the sector.”
[Extreme greenwash below – read with great scepticism, and all critical faculties working….]
Heathrow offers free landing charges for a year to UK’s first electric plane
Heathrow to start the clock ticking on the UK’s first electric commercial flight, announcing the aircraft will be able to touch down at the UK’s hub free of charge for a year – a prize worth nearly £1million
Speaking at the BusinessGreen Summit, CEO John Holland-Kaye will open the incentive to all airlines operating at Heathrow both now and in the future
The grand innovation prize is the latest in a suite of measures designed to encourage airlines to pursue clean growth and deploy their cleanest, quietest aircraft at Heathrow
The announcement coincides with Green GB Week, celebrating the UK’s world-leading role in delivering clean growth
In a world airport first, Heathrow 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. In celebration of Green GB Week and inspired by the first flight short electric-powered flight carrying two passengers at Oslo Airport earlier this year, Heathrow is looking to leverage its role as one of the world’s leading airports to drive sustainable change across the industry.
At the BusinessGreen Leaders’ Summit in London today, Heathrow’s Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye will launch a grand 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.
This prize has 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.Electric aircraft could be much quieter, cleaner and more efficient than today’s fleet. With global air passengers expected to double by 2035, these changes will play a critical role in driving a sustainable future for the aviation sector and will support goals outlined in Heathrow’s own sustainability strategy – Heathrow 2.0.
The airport currently incentivises airlines to bring their greenest fleet to Heathrow through the use of environmental charges, and will continue to work with airlines to develop these incentives in the future.
The prize comes alongside Heathrow’s existing plans to decarbonize the industry and pursue clean growth, including the quarterly “Fly Quiet and Green” league table which tracks airline performance on noise and emissions targets, and a partnership with Virgin Atlantic and LanzaTech to further the take-up of more sustainable biofuels.
Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye, said:“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.”
Airbus Chief Technology Officer Grazia Vittadini, said:“With air traffic projected to double every 15 years, it is our duty as an industry to find solutions that ensure sustainable growth with minimal environmental impact. At Airbus, this is our driving force for developing electric and hybrid-electric propulsion technologies. We commend Heathrow Airport’s initiative to jump-start the adoption of hybrid-electric technologies with the launch of the Grand Innovation Prize!”
CEO of easyJet Johan Lundgren, commented: “With Heathrow’s announcement today, it is clear they share easyJet’s ambition for a more sustainable aviation industry. We support airports who are encouraging airlines to operate the most sustainable aircraft and welcome this initiative from Heathrow Airport. We already operate the newest generation Airbus Neo aircraft and are partnering with US firm Wright Electric who has the ambitious target of designing an all electric commercial aircraft in the next decade. We firmly believe it is not if, but when, electric commercial aircraft become a reality.”
Aviation Minister, Liz Sugg, said: “The Government is committed to cutting carbon emissions and promoting new environmentally-friendly fuels in transport, including in the aviation industry. Heathrow’s initiative is an innovative programme which will encourage airlines to invest in electric-hybrid aircraft. Our Aviation Strategy will also consider further ways to support the development of cleaner, greener technology in the sector.”
This news follows a commitment made earlier this month to restore UK peatlands. This pilot project will help to offset the airport’s own carbon emissions as part of Heathrow 2.0. Working with the Lancashire Wildlife Trust and DEFRA, Heathrow’s first restoration priority will be Little Woolden Moss, part of Chat Moss which is a larger area of peat bog land, west of Manchester. With all of Heathrow’s terminals running on 100% renewable electricity since April 2017 and ongoing upgrades to electrify the airport’s own vehicles, Heathrow is already nearly 60% towards its zero-carbon goal for airport infrastructure.
In the next few months, Heathrow will be publishing its carbon neutral growth roadmap, setting out how the airport can deliver its aspiration for growth from a third runway to be carbon neutral. Heathrow is already working towards operating carbon neutral airport infrastructure by 2020, a key step towards being zero carbon by 2050, and is also reducing carbon in its supply chain. -ENDS-
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Based on the current structure of landing charges, the incentive would be worth up to almost £1million. This calculation is based on the annualised value of a slot with three landings a day, operated by a Chapter 14 Low aircraft (A320). The eventual value of this slot would be dependent on future landing charges which are agreed in consultation with airlines.
About Heathrow Airport and Heathrow 2.0Heathrow is Europe’s largest airport and one of the world’s top international aviation hubs. As the UK’s global gateway, Heathrow welcomes more than 78 million passengers every year with a commitment to making ‘every journey better’, and in 2017, handled over 1.7m tonnes of cargo as the nation’s biggest port by value for markets outside the EU and Switzerland.
Heathrow to waive landing fees for first electric aircraft
Test flight of Pipistrel Alpha Electro
Heathrow is planning to waive landing fees for a year for the first electric aircraft to go into scheduled service as part of its plan to become a world hub for greener jets following the opening of its proposed third runway.
The deal, which The Times claimed was worth about £1 million, will be followed by other incentives to airlines in the future, said the airport.
Both Airbus and Boeing, as well as smaller aircraft manufacturers, are competing to develop entirely electric or hybrid planes, with the hope of putting the first into full service by the middle of the next decade.
Slovenian manufacturer Pipistrel flew a pure electric two-seater jet over Oslo airport in the summer, which was the first trial of its kind. The company is now working on a larger, four-seater electric hybrid.
At the same time, Heathrow is keen to show that it has real pans to cut noise and emissions in order to get the final go-ahead for its controversial third runway, which is the subject of a planning consolation.
EasyJet is working the US manufacturer Wright Electric to develop an electric jet, which is expected to join its fleet within the next 10 years. The airline is hoping this will replace conventional aircraft on short flights of up to 335 miles.
Heathrow will waive fees to lure quiet electric jets
Graeme Paton, Transport Correspondent (The Times)
Heathrow will attempt to position itself as a world hub for electric aircraft as part of its plan to cut noise and emissions when a third runway is built.
Airlines are to be given financial incentives to encourage the use of pure electric and hybrid electric planes at the west London hub, which is Europe’s busiest airport.
The initial commitment is to waive landing fees for a year on the first electric aircraft to be brought into regular service at the airport, in a deal believed to be worth about £1 million. Heathrow says that it will also work with airlines to develop further incentives in the future.
Airlines are competing to adopt electric planes, which will be cleaner and quieter than existing jet fuel-powered aircraft.
Major manufacturers including Airbus and Boeing, as well as a series of smaller start-ups, are attempting to develop electric or hybrid electric planes and it is claimed that they could provide a full passenger service by the middle of the next decade.
In the summer, a pure electric two-seater aircraft manufactured by the Slovenian company Pipistrel flew over Oslo airport as part of the first trial of its kind. The company plans to put a larger four-seater electric hybrid plane into the skies next year.
Easyjet, Britain’s busiest airline, has signed a deal with the American manufacturer Wright Electric with a view to developing an electric jet for its fleet by 2027. It said that the aircraft could replace conventional jets on every journey of up to 335 miles, including routes from London to Edinburgh, within 20 years.
It is believed that hybrid electric planes will be much more viable than purely electric aircraft in the short term. Hybrids are likely to use battery power during take-off and landing and revert to aviation fuel for cruising during longer flights.
The launch of the landing-charge waiver coincides with the continuing development of Heathrow’s plans for a third runway, which the airport hopes will become operational by 2026. The proposals are due to face a public consultation next year.
Clearance for take-off
Wright Electric US company backed by Harvard University is working to develop a full passenger aircraft. A mocked-up electric Easyjet plane was shown last year with propulsion systems distributed along the wing instead of large engines, a battery that can be easily swapped and long, thin wings to reduce drag.
Boeing The company is backing a project by Zunum Aero to develop hybrid electric passenger planes with batteries that can be recharged by the jet engine. It said that the aircraft could be put into service in the next decade, with a battery range of 175 miles that can be extended by up to five times that by the jet-fuel generator.
Airbus Unveiled plans in the summer for a 2 megawatt hybrid electric propulsion system, the E-Fan X, alongside Siemens and Rolls-Royce.
….the challenge is to create planes that are big enough and have sufficient range to compete with conventional aircraft.
Some of Heathrow’s busiest routes are at the initial target range for commercial electric aircraft: Amsterdam (231 miles), Dublin (280 miles) and Edinburgh (331 miles).
Dozens of projects are seeking to make electric aircraft commercially feasible.
Britain’s biggest budget airline, easyJet, has teamed up with a US firm, Wright Electric, to develop a 150-seat plane capable of flying up to 300 miles. The airline plans to fly from Heathrow when a third runway is built.
The chief executive of easyJet, Johan Lundgren, said: “We support airports who are encouraging airlines to operate the most sustainable aircraft and welcome this initiative from Heathrow Airport.
“We firmly believe it is not if, but when, electric commercial aircraft become a reality.”
The key issue for designers is energy density, which is far higher for jet fuel than for even the most advanced batteries.
Initially many developers are focusing, like Heathrow, on aircraft which combine electric and conventional gas-turbine power.
Using electricity during take-off, when jet engines are noisiest and thirstiest, could dramatically reduce both fuel consumption and noise.
A British Aerospace 146 commuter aircraft is being adapted to carry two tons of batteries and the world’s most powerful flying generator. One of its four engines will run on electricity.
Earlier this year, Norway’s airport operator, Avinor, https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/norway-short-haul-flights-electric-deadline-no-fossil-fuels-climate-change-a8165526.html pledged to switch to electric air transport for flights of up to 90 minutes by 2040.
A leading US start-up, Zunum Air of Seattle, says: “Our aircraft are ‘hybrid-to-electrics’ that sip fuel only when they have to, will use even less over time as batteries upgrade, and will one day go completely without.”