UK airport operator BAA said on Thursday it had agreed to work with Virgin Group chairman Richard Branson to explore ways for planes to cut fuel consumption at London Gatwick.
Branson launched a proposal this week to change the way aircraft taxi onto the runway as part of a package of measures he said would help cut the world's aviation emissions, starting at Gatwick.
"Here at Gatwick we have agreed with Richard to work alongside his nominated team to explore practical ways of engaging and debating the issues," Paul Griffiths, Managing Director, BAA Gatwick, said in a statement.
However, it was unclear how far the airport owner would go in adopting Branson's proposal to set up "starting grids" at airports and have planes towed closer to the runway before takeoff.
Gatwick is the busiest single-runway airport in the world and any changes which slowed traffic would not be acceptable, one airline industry source said.
Branson's Virgin Group last week committed to spending all the profits from his airline and rail businesses to combat global warming. He is lobbying airlines and airports to consider his cross-industry proposal to reduce emissions.
BAA, which was bought by Spain's Ferrovial this year, owns Gatwick as well as London's Heathrow and Stansted airports.
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