London Heathrow Airport’s overcrowding means that vast quantities of fuel are wasted and passengers are facing constant delays, according to NATS (Breaking Travel News, 28-Jun-2011). Some 60% of Heathrow arrivals are forced into holding patterns, which slows air travel and results in greater carbon emissions. NATS claims aircraft circulate above south-east England for a cumulative 55 hours every day, needlessly consuming 190 tonnes of fuel and costing GBP119,000 a day. This wastage discharges 600 tonnes of CO2 into the skies above London. Heathrow operates at 98% capacity.
NATS: “It is not a great environmental story and it is not something we will be shouting from the rooftops. But it is important that people know that when you are operating at 98% capacity and you have the two most utilised pieces of infrastructure in the world [Heathrow and Gatwick] then one of the results is that you have airborne holding.” Jon Proudlove, MD. Source: Breaking Travel News, 28-Jun-2011.