5 Questions to Heathrow Airport

Posted on in Events News

heathrowAlongside its proposals for a third runway, Heathrow has submitted its ambitious plans for surface access to the Airports Commission. These plans will transform the airport into a fully integrated transport hub, connecting the whole of the UK to growth. Today we speak with Simon Earles, Head of Surface Access at Heathrow Airport about the key opportunities for better airport access.

What are the major challenges for Heathrow Airport today, in terms of surface access?

The electrification of the Great Western Mainline and Crossrail both represent major challenges, but we recognise the necessity to deliver more capacity on London's rail network.

Where do you so the key opportunities for Heathrow Airport to improve surface access?

A key focus for Heathrow in the next few years is improving information provision for our passengers and airport employees. We have just opened new Onward Travel Centres in Terminal 2 & Terminal 5 providing bespoke journey planning services for all airport employees. But we can, and we will do more.
Partnerships with bus and coach operators and Transport for London represent great opportunities to further improve the public transport network around Heathrow.

Now Pods are running for few years now, can you share with us customer trends in using them?

The Pod has seen consistently improving passenger experience scores between the business car park and T5. We see that passengers appreciate the fast, reliable and unique experience the Pods provide.

Do you have any plans to extend it further into the airport?

Expanding the Pod system into the Central Terminal Area would be the natural next step, but at present there is no confirmed date when this might happen.

simon earl

What is the most exciting thing that you are working on today?

Working on our plans for a third runway excites me, but so does our current review of landside way-finding and the audit of our cycle provision is underway with the London Cycling Campaign. Heathrow brings such variety that every day opens a new opportunity to help achieve our goal of becoming a truly integrated transport hub.

Simon Earles is speaking at the UK AirRail 2014, taking place on 27 November at London Hilton Paddington Hotel.


Simon is an airport and surface access professional, with 20 years' experience developing and delivering transport strategy in the public, private and corporate sector. Simon is accountable for Heathrow's interface with major transport projects such as HS2, Crossrail and Western Rail Access and for developing Heathrow's surface access proposals for the Airports Commission