Heathrow offers to scrap £1m landing fees for first hybrid-electric plane
Heathrow will scrap a year of landing charges for the first hybrid-electric plane to operate scheduled commercial flights.
The west London hub hopes the offer – worth nearly £1 million based on three landings a day – will encourage the uptake of electric technology to reduce emissions, noise and fuel consumption.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye described zero carbon flying as “the next frontier” in sustainable aviation.
“I hope this prize will help to make it a reality at Heathrow by 2030,” he said.
There are already more than 100 electric aircraft projects underway around the world, according to Heathrow.
A two-seater electric-powered plane was flown around Norway’s Oslo airport in June.
EasyJet is collaborating with US-based Wright Electric to develop battery-powered planes for short-haul routes such as London to Paris or Edinburgh to Bristol within the next nine years.
The Luton-based carrier’s chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “We firmly believe it is not if, but when, electric commercial aircraft become a reality.”
Wright Electric believes electric planes will be up to 50% quieter and 10% cheaper than traditional aircraft for airlines to buy and operate.
This saving could be passed on to passengers through lower fares.
It has built a two-seater prototype and is working towards a fully electric with capacity for at least 120 passengers.