Heathrow to introduce a Terminal Drop-Off Charge across all terminal forecourts from 1st November

Heathrow to introduce a Terminal Drop-Off Charge across all terminal forecourts from 1st November

  • Heathrow is the last major UK airport to introduce such a charge, with similar drop-off charges in place at the other 9 largest UK airports
  • The £5 fee – initially proposed last year – will be managed using Automatic Number Plate Recognition systems similar to those used for the London Congestion Charge and Dart Charge schemes
  • Funds raised will contribute towards sustainable transport initiatives, with any additional revenue used to help lower overall airport charges
  • Drivers will still have the option to drop-off free of charge at the airport’s own Long Stay car park

London, UK, 2021-Sep-29 — /Travel PR News/ — Heathrow has announced the introduction of a Terminal Drop-Off Charge across all terminal forecourts from 1st November.

As travel slowly restarts, the charge, initially proposed last year, will prevent a car led recovery and reduce airport-related traffic whilst protecting jobs at Heathrow, which has suffered a £3bn loss due to the pandemic.

Drivers will be charged a £5 flat-fee per visit to the terminal drop-off zones. This change is part of Heathrow’s updated Surface Access Plans and long-term sustainability strategy. Income generated from the scheme will contribute towards new sustainable transport initiatives at the airport. Additional revenue raised by the charge will help to lower overall airport charges. In future, the airport hopes to introduce, a new data-led, multi-modal Sustainable Travel Zone (STZ) that aims to provide passengers, colleagues and the local community with more sustainable transport options. The STZ will take the place of the previous Free Travel Zone, with further details expected next year.

As significant barriers to travel remain in place, Heathrow’s passenger numbers are still over 70% below pre-COVID levels. Heathrow has introduced this charge to enable the airport to continue to invest in surface access projects to help reduce road congestion. The charge will bring Heathrow in line with all other major UK airports that already have similar schemes in place.

The Terminal Drop-Off Charge will be managed through Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems – similar to those used for the London Congestion Charge and Dart Charge – and will apply to all vehicles using Heathrow’s terminal drop-off facilities. Blue Badge holders will be eligible for a 100% discount. Passengers will have the option to pay the £5 charge in advance, or by midnight the day after making the drop-off. Payments can only be made by card, either online or by an automated telephone service.

Passengers will continue to have the option to travel to the airport via more sustainable means such as Heathrow Express, TFL Rail, London Underground, bus or national coach services. Those driving can also be dropped off for free at Heathrow’s Long Stay car park facilities, which all offer free regular shuttle buses to the terminals.

Heathrow Director of Surface Access, Tony Caccavone, said: “COVID-19 has devastated the aviation industry and our recovery remains stunted by on-going travel restrictions. With passenger numbers still over 70% down on pre-pandemic figures, this charge, first proposed last year, will help us protect the business financially, whilst preventing a car-led recovery and ensuring we remain on course for our long-term goals of providing sustainable and affordable transport options as passenger demand returns.”

Chair of independent Heathrow Area Transport Forum and Former London Deputy Mayor for Transport Val Shawcross said: “The pandemic continues to have a significant impact on Heathrow and this charge will help to prevent a car-led recovery and contribute towards new sustainable transport initiatives. Measures to encourage passengers into public transport are key to the airport’s long-term sustainability as it seeks to ‘build back better’. I look forward to working with Heathrow on these future initiatives as the airport recovers from the devastating impact of COVID-19. “

More information on the charge can be found here – www.heathrow.com/dropoff


100% Discount for Colleagues

Heathrow Airport Limited and Team Heathrow colleagues, who have a valid Heathrow ID, are eligible for a 100% discount from the charge for the first 12 months. There is an internal application process to follow.

100% Discount for Blue Badge Holders and Exemptions

Blue Badge holders are eligible for a 100% discount. Blue Badge holders can register a drop-off up to three months in advance or by midnight the day after their drop-off. For further information please visit www.heathrow.com/dropoff

If a Blue Badge holder arrives by taxi, they can register for the 100% discount using the taxi vehicle registration number in advance, during the trip or by midnight the day after the drop-off. Confirmation of a successful application will be sent by email. The taxi driver can confirm the Blue Badge holder discount has been applied by matching the Blue Badge holder Receipt ID with their Receipt ID within their business account online, under the ‘Trip Management’ section.

Motorcycles, coaches and buses and breakdown recovery vehicles are eligible for a 100% discount from the charge. Black cabs who are actively licensed with London Taxi and Private Hire (TPH) are eligible for a 100% discount until 1st April 2022. This discount will be applied automatically, allowing TfL time to conduct a public consultation and for any adjustment to meter charges to be made in accordance with statutory requirements.

Emergency Services vehicles, military vehicles and Heathrow permitted operational vehicles will be exempt from the charge.

How to pay

Drivers can pay the £5 charge in advance, on the day they drop-off, or by midnight the next day. They have three ways to pay: online, by autopay functionality or by automated telephone service. Regular users of the airport are encouraged to register with a pre-pay account.  Trips pre-paid will expire 12 months after the date of purchase. To pay online, drivers need to visit www.heathrow.com/dropoff and to pay by phone, drivers need to call 0330 008 5600, this phone line will open from 1st November.

Non-payment will result in an £80 Parking Charge Notice (PCN), reduced to £40 if paid within 14 days.

Long Stay parking alternatives

A free drop-off option is available at Heathrow’s Long Stay car parks, where passengers can take a free bus transfer to the terminal. Heathrow’s car parks will continue to operate as normal. For more information on car parking options, please visit https://www.heathrow.com/transport-and-directions/heathrow-parking.


Press Office
0208 745 7224

Source: Heathrow Airport