Friday 21st Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

BIFA calls for measured approach to airport expansion

The British International Freight Association has called on the Airport Commission should take a measured approach to new airport capacity and not get distracted by all the ‘noise’ there has been on the subject in the past few days.

Airports have been submitting proposals for additional capacity. BIFA director general, Peter Quantrill said: “The debate is certainly hotting up and we still trust that the Airport Commission takes a measured approach when it makes its interim recommendations in a few months.

“While many are rightly frustrated by past inertia, we shouldn’t forget that this debate has its roots in the 1970s.

“Whether the Commission recommends expansion at existing airports or construction of a new hub airport in its interim report in December, it is essential that any new airport capacity is both affordable and located where airlines, passengers and the freight community are best served.

“Ultimately this debate is not a battle between Heathrow and the rest of the UK’s airports, but with the other international aviation hubs.

“In 2009, BIFA gave qualified support to the UK government’s decision to allow a third runway at Heathrow airport,” he said.

“Of course, that decision was subsequently reversed and four years on, we are still no closer to a decision on expanding UK aviation hub capacity.

“Despite all of this week’s noise, BIFA continues to support the structured approach of the Airport Commission to its task of reviewing airport capacity. We have submitted our initial response to the Commission relative to the constraints imposed by capacity limitations, UK global connectivity, the importance of air freight and the key facilitative role played by the freight forwarder.

“We certainly hope those views are reflected in the Airport Commission’s report later this year, and trust that the report will finally lead to some action.”