British Airways has launched a substantial investment programme to modernise its ground support equipment at Heathrow Airport, aiming to decrease emissions both in the air and on the ground.


Source: BA

The airline is gradually replacing its ground vehicle fleet of vans, cargo transporters, and passenger steps, with hybrid or electric alternatives. Presently, over 90% of British Airways’ ground equipment at Heathrow operates on HVO fuel, is zero emissions electrical equipment when used or driven, or are hybrids.

The investment includes several key improvements:

- Replacing over 750 pieces of ground equipment, including fuel bowsers, with HVO fuel alternatives, provided by Phillips 66. This transition is expected to save over 6,000 tonnes of co2 annually.

- Substituting diesel passenger aircraft steps with electric versions to reduce fuel consumption by over 370 tonnes of CO2 per year.

- Phasing out diesel-powered cargo container loading vehicles with hybrid electric models.

- Introducing 135 new electric baggage tugs, accounting for 40% of total tugs, utilising highly efficient lithium-ion battery technology.

- Gradually replacing all 38 diesel passenger buses with electric or HVO fuel models, expected to save 800 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

“At British Airways, we are committed to reaching Net Zero emissions by 2050 or sooner and our focus isn’t just about reducing emissions in the air, but on the ground too,” said Tom Moran, British Airways’ Director of Heathrow. ”This major investment into our vehicles at Heathrow is our largest investment in more sustainable airport ground operations to date and is part of our wider environmental objective to minimise emissions from our airside ground operation. We’re proud of the work we are doing in this space and are excited to continue improving the running of our ground operations at Heathrow.” 

“I am incredibly proud of this project, which has been driven by our Heathrow ground operations teams and encapsulates our BA Better World ethos of raising awareness of our strategy to all of our colleagues, and inspiring them to play a part in minimising our environmental impact where possible,” added Carrie Harris, British Airways’ Director of Sustainability. ”Their energy, enthusiasm and innovative approach in bringing the project to life shows what can be achieved and this investment demonstrates our ongoing commitment to making improvements across our business that will benefit both our customers and colleagues.”