Heathrow Airport has become the latest organisation - following in the wake of local authorities - to announce plans to introduce an ultra-low emission zone.

The UK’s only hub airport plans to introduce charges for cars and all private hire vehicles with the 2022 introduction of what it claims is the world’s first airport ultra-low emission zone (the Heathrow ULEZ). A wider Vehicle Access Charge (VAC) will be introduced for all cars, taxis and private hire vehicles entering the Airport with the 2026 opening of its new runway.

The Heathrow ULEZ will introduce minimum vehicle emissions standards identical to the London Mayor’s ULEZ for cars and private hire vehicles entering car parks or drop-off areas at any of Heathrow’s terminals, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Vehicle that fail to meet Euro4 for petrol and Euro6 for diesel emission standards will be charged to enter the zone.

Initial proposals for the Heathrow ULEZ could set the charge figure between £10-15, in line with those set by the Mayor in central London. Exact details for the Heathrow ULEZ will be confirmed after public consultation.

Heathrow already falls within the Mayor’s Low Emissions Zone, the standards for which are being tightened on October 26, 2020 with the oldest and most polluting vehicles that do not meet the Euro VI emission standards facing a charge of up to £300 on entry (heavy vehicles that are either Euro IV or Euro V standard will be deterred with a £100 charge). That, said the Airport, would address emissions from freight and servicing vehicles as well as buses serving Heathrow. Taxis will be exempt from the Heathrow ULEZ charges, in line with the London ULEZ scheme.