Air, Feature, Freight News

New cargo chief to squeeze more freight into ‘full up’ Heathrow

[ May 5, 2015   //   ]

London Heathrow’s new head of cargo, Nick Platts – the first appointee to such a role for about two decades – has been tasked with squeezing more business through an airport that is, essentially, full up.

Platts, who was previously head of ground handling, will be expected to come up with innovative solutions to close the gap with European gateways “as much as possible within the current environment.”

However, the airport authority acknowledges that with Heathrow now operating at capacity, many shippers and forwarders often choose to send freight through Amsterdam and Frankfurt instead.

Heathrow is meanwhile lobbying the government to be allowed to build a third runway, and says that, if given the green light, could double freight capacity from 1.5 million to 3 million tonnes. The Davies Commission is expected to make its recommendation on airport capacity shortly after the forthcoming general election –although whether any future government is prepared to take the flack that new runways at Heathrow or other south-east airports such as Gatwick will inevitably entail, remains to be seen.

Undeterred, Platts said: “I am delighted to have been given this opportunity. This is a huge challenge with the restraints Heathrow is currently operating under and I am really looking forward to beginning the new role and developing a new and improved cargo service.”