FTA welcomes views to expand Heathrow

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The Freight Transport Association has welcomed the House of Commons Transport Committee’s view that expanding Heathrow’s capacity is essential in maintaining London’s international hub status.

The committee backed Heathrow in its Aviation Strategy report – and it also rejected plans for a new Thames Estuary Airport.

As part of the inquiry into the report in January, the FTA said it considered Heathrow as the only UK airport able to fulfil the vital role it plays, thanks to its location and connection to global passenger flight networks.

The association then suggested the airport should be allowed to expand through the development of a third runway, which it believes is the only cost effective option to address the UK’s capacity problem, rather than undergo construction on the Thames site.

“We are open to the possibility of a future airport elsewhere but Heathrow is our hub airport now, it is full now; and as things stand today Heathrow is the best case for a London hub airport,” said the FTA’s general manager of global and European policy, Chris Welsh.

However,despite the committee’s acceptance of the FTA’s evidence, the association voiced disappointment that the importance of freight has not been fully considered in the report.

“It is just a little disappointing that the importance of air freight is somewhat underplayed; and we would encourage the government to work with industry to fully understand the importance of air freight to the UK economy,” added Welsh.

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