Air, Feature, Freight News

Pharma will suffer if no runway decision soon says Rhenus boss

[ June 17, 2016   //   ]

The boss of freight forwarder, Rhenus Logistics UK has called on the government to make a quick decision on a third Heathrow runway for the sake of the pharma industry.

Managing director, David Williams, says that the recent postponement of a final vote on the issue until summer 2016 – or later – could hamper the industry’s export efforts at a time when air capacity is coming under severe pressure. Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin, has already warned that the decision could be put back until after the summer recess if the Government has other priorities in July.

Williams says that the UK’s ports are running at capacity and new legislation has imposed surcharges on road freight, leading to a dramatic increase in air freight volumes. However, air capacity is limited by the lack of Heathrow capacity. It the airport was to open a third runway, it would take pressure off roads and sea ports and would allow faster and more efficient abroad.

Nor does Williams take any comfort from the latest London mayoral elections; Sadiq Khan is a strong opponent of a third Heathrow runway, instead favouring an extension of Gatwick Airport.

David Williams points out that Heathrow’s cargo capacity still lags behind its rival airports at Frankfurt, Schiphol and Paris, and if the situation is not addressed soon, it could result in stagnation for the pharma industry.

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