Search for Heathrow’s third runway innovation partners continues

Posted: 18 September 2018 | | No comments yet

Heathrow Airport has announced the longlist of 37 companies progressing to the next round in its search for expansion Innovation Partners.


Following first stage of innovation partner process, Heathrow Airport has announced list of successful final bids. 37 companies have been invited to pitch their ideas on how to deliver the expansion and over 150 ideas have been submitted looking at sustainability, retail and operational solutions. This is the most recent milestone as Heathrow progresses with the delivery of its third runway, following overwhelming Parliamentary support. 

Successful entrants will now have eight weeks to bring to life business cases ready to pitch to the airport’s top executives, ensuring the most efficient, sustainable and affordable plan is delivered.

Launched in April 2017, the Innovation Partner Process encouraged potential partners to share ideas on how to deliver on the promises Heathrow has made to the environment, its neighbours and the country. The only restriction imposed was all proposals must align with Heathrow’s vision and strategic objectives of improving passenger experience, driving cost efficiencies, growing commercial revenues and delivering on its sustainability targets.

The appetite from businesses up and down the country to get involved was extremely positive, with the airport receiving over 150 ideas, all bidding for their part in building Britain’s new runway. Over 86 per cent of these expressions of interest came from companies outside of Heathrow’s current supply chain. 

The businesses that have progressed to the latest round of the search come from a range of sectors including retail, logistics and airline partners. Ideas also have a range of focuses including efficient cargo management systems, state of the art IT programmes and security solutions. 

The next stage will see a final round of business pitches, and ideas that will impact the master plan of the expanded airport, will then be factored in to the Development Consent Order, expected to be approved in 2021.

Emma Gilthorpe, Executive Director of Heathrow Expansion, said: “Parliament has entrusted us with the job of delivering Britain’s new runway, in a way that benefits the whole of the country and our neighbours. These are steadfast commitments we place on ourselves also. Our Innovation Partner Process is further evidence of us wanting to work with anyone who wants to legitimately challenge our way of thinking and work with us. We do not have the monopoly on great ideas and those going through to the next round, have clearly evidenced innovative ways of finding approaches and implementation that will benefit our communities and country. We are excited for the next round in this search, as those wanting to help us build a legacy for future generations and travellers, are one step closer to having a global platform with Heathrow.”

Some 40 additional companies, who were not successful in progressing to the next stage, will now be added to Heathrow’s supplier list as the company continues to invest in its operations outside of expansion.

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