From October 2021, Heathrow Airport will be introducing a charge for vehicles dropping off passengers at its terminal forecourts. A £5 charge per visit will apply to use the designated drop-off zones located directly outside the airport terminals.
The Terminal Drop-Off Charge will apply to all vehicles entering the forecourts of Heathrow’s terminals including taxis and private hire vehicles, although some exceptions will apply, such as blue badge holders and emergency vehicles.
Free drop off options are available at Heathrow’s long stay car parks, where passengers can take a free bus transfer to the terminal.
The charge forms part of Heathrow’s updated Surface Access strategy and sustainable travel plans. The plans were updated after reviews were conducted of all airport projects in light of the collapse in passenger numbers experienced due to the impacts of the pandemic and the subsequent loss of £5 million a day. The review included looking at Surface Access projects with the aim being that environmental impacts will continue to be prioritised and reduced, whilst also protecting the business and jobs.
The charge replaces previous plans to introduce a Heathrow Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (HULEZ) by 2022 and a Heathrow Vehicle Access Charge (HVAC) ahead of the opening of the third runway, which would have incurred a £10-£15 charge. It also ensures the airport remains able to meet its long-term public transport goals, which includes reducing congestion on the roads around the airport and improving local air quality.
Revenue raised through the charge will be used to offset airport costs, including future sustainable transport investments, as well as helping to lower passenger charges.