STARTING from next year, Heathrow is planning to charge drivers £5 to drop off loved ones as part of its ‘green initiative’, reports said.
Airport officials believe that the charge will encourage travellers to use public transport and help it reach its sustainability goals.
The proposed ‘forecourt access charge’ would ‘protect the business financially’ after racking up £1.5 billion of losses in 2020, and will prevent it from a ‘car led airport recovery’ from the Covid-19 pandemic, they said.
Manchester, Stansted and Birmingham airports already charge drivers from drop-offs. Gatwick has announced plans to introduce a tariff in the future.
“Being the most expensive airport for customers already, the £5 charge] is just shocking,” Surinder Arora, the billionaire businessman who runs hotels next to the airport, told The Telegraph.
Environmental campaigners wish that the move will encourage passengers to use Heathrow’s public transport links.
The airport is at the end of the Piccadilly Line on London Underground and is served by the Heathrow Express train from Paddington Station.
According to Geraldine Nicholson, stop Heathrow expansion representative, said that the airport should use the funds generated through the scheme to re-introduce the Heathrow free travel zone that they are abolishing in 2021 and other public transport discount schemes that it supported until last month.
Tony Caccavone, a director at the airport, said that the proposed changes will help Heathrow to protect the business financially, save jobs in the short term and to operate sustainably.
Reports said that Heathrow passenger numbers down over 80 per cent due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the business losing £5 million a day.