2021 Heathrow Airport Plans To Charge Drivers £5 Passengers Drop-off
Driver dropping off passengers for flights at Heathrow Airport look expected to be hit with a £5 charge, and is part of a wider plan in response to the collapse in passenger numbers and financial losses in 2020.
For Heathrow passengers who don’t want to pay, an option of being dropped off in a long stay car park and travelling to terminals via a free shuttle bus.
Heathrow has announced plans to start charging a Forecourt Access Charge (FAC) from Q4 2021 for vehicles “to prevent a vehicle led airport recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic”. Heathrow former plans were to introduce an Ultra-Low Emissions Zone.
Rather than hide behind any excuses, it seems the airport has come straight out. A statement from the Heathrow’s director of surface access Tony Caccavone said: the move would “protect the business financially”. He started “As part of several revisions to the airport’s surface access plan as a result of the near-collapse in passenger numbers and £1.5 billion losses incurred in 2020; due to an 80% fall in passengers. Also added that the charge would “save jobs in the short term, whilst also allowing us to stay on track for our long-term goals of providing safe, sustainable and affordable transport options”.
Responding to this, the FAC will replace plans for a Heathrow Ultra Low Emissions Zone (HULEZ) announced in May 2019, although future emissions reductions schemes could be considered at a later date. The revised plan ensures Heathrow remains able to meet its long-term public transport goals and, other measures, including HULEZ, can still be implemented if needed. Revenue raised through the FAC will be used to offset airport costs, including future sustainable transport investments, as well as lowering the charges for passengers. Consultation has begun with stakeholders around the details of Heathrow’s new proposal, including how the FAC will be administered, with details expected to be finalised in 2021.
Heathrow Drop Off Fee £5.00 Considered
All vehicles entering Heathrow’s terminal forecourts will be liable for the cost, although some driver’s exceptions will apply such as blue badge holders and emergency vehicles. A consultation about the fee has begun, with final details that include the full list of exemptions to be announced next year.
Heathrow expects fewer cars on the road due to reduced passenger demand, but concerns around using public transport due to the pandemic present a new challenge moving forward.
It’s no surprise, similar access charges are already in place at 8 out of the 10 largest UK airports following Gatwick at long last including Stansted and Manchester and In addition, Birmingham and Edinburgh grabbing this easy way to gain a fee.
The COVID-19 pandemic sent shock waves throughout the aviation sector. As a result, Heathrow has reviewed all its planned investments which were committed when over 80 million passengers were using the airport annually.
Heathrow has been forced to review all its planned investments which they had committed to when the airport had more than 80 million passengers passing through each year.
“This review has led to changes which recalibrate the airport’s spending on surface access projects so that environmental impacts will continue to be reduced, whilst the business and colleague jobs are protected during this time with fewer passengers.”
As for the money raised? It will be used to offset airport costs. The airport promises to spend it on future sustainable transport investments, as well as lowering the charges for passengers.
With the small list of exemptions, a lot of people won’t escape the charge. For the implementer’s are targeting those who are being dropped off by friends, family or in a private hire vehicle’s (Minicab) such Taxi/Uber/Ola as an extra cost to be added onto the journey.
It’s time vs money. The question remains: Is £5 worth the wait for a bus in a long term car park, with a journey to a Heathrow terminal or, is it easier to pay the £5 and be done with it? And in most of the schemes, they only benefit the airport.