Air, Freight News

Air cargo is vital to UK, says FTA

[ March 3, 2014   //   ]

The Freight Transport Association said that air cargo was vital to the UK economy in a letter to the chairman of the Airports Commission, Sir Howard Davies, who is pondering the question of runway capacity in south-east England.

FTA has commissioned its own report ‘Sky High Value – The importance of air freight to the UK economy’ which is due to be launched on 20 March.  The report will reflect FTA’s contribution to the Commission’s work and, importantly, raise the importance of air freight in the debate, which to date has focused mainly on passenger and business travel.

Commenting on the conclusions outlined in the Airports Commission’s recently-published Interim Report, FTA’s director of global and European policy, Chris Welsh, said: “Whilst supporting the emerging conclusions on aviation capacity, FTA would like to emphasise to the Airports Commission that air cargo is crucially important to British businesses as importers and exporters, and is a key enabler for growth and the future success of the UK economy.”
FTA emphasised that it was essential that any future capacity strengthens the existing hub base of the south east of England.  This additional capacity would bring not only benefits to the south east of England but to Britain as a whole through enhanced connectivity to the UK’s key overseas markets.
“The importance of London as the UK hub for freight needs to be recognised alongside passenger traffic,” stressed Mr Welsh, adding: “The wider range of services that can be attracted by a major hub with transfer flights makes London the major freight hub for industry. It is critical for UK industry that new services are developed to emerging markets as this is where Heathrow is already falling behind competitors due to lack of capacity.”

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