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Airfreight in danger of being overlooked, says FTA

[ June 2, 2015   //   ]

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has written to Prime Minister David Cameron asking that air freight should not be overlooked when considering the options for creating new airport capacity in south east England.
In a letter to the Prime Minister FTA chief executive David Wells, outlined the essential work of air freight which represents over 40% of UK imports and exports by value, and plays a crucial role in the supply chains of many UK businesses.
He said: “FTA is concerned that the importance of air freight is being overlooked. It is a common misconception that air cargo is a minor traffic used only for very high value or urgent items. In actual fact, 80% of freight is carried in the holds of scheduled passenger aircraft using Heathrow airport.”
He warned also that the decline of Heathrow as a viable global cargo hub will increase the costs of freight and logistics across the UK, as Gatwick does not possess the infrastructure to handle the volumes of cargo required. Whereas passengers could be persuaded to use a different airport, “the diminution of Heathrow as an international air cargo hub favours neither the country nor the economy,” he added.
A final recommendation on where expansion should take place is scheduled to be issued later this year by the Sir Howard Davies-led Airports Commission. The options include a third runway at Heathrow, lengthening an existing runway at Heathrow, or a second runway at Gatwick.

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