Commission must recognise crucial role of air cargo

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The Freight Transport Association has called on the Airports Commission to recognise the fact that air cargo is crucial to British business.

In a letter to Sir Howard Davies, chairman of the Airports Commission, it argued that it was essential that any future capacity strengthens the existing hub base of the south east of England. This additional capacity would bring not only benefits to the south east of England but to Britain as a whole through enhanced connectivity to the UK’s key overseas markets.

The commission recently released its interim conclusions. Chris Welsh, the FTA’s director – global and European policy, said: “The importance of London as the UK hub for freight needs to be recognised alongside passenger traffic.

“The wider range of services that can be attracted by a major hub with transfer flights makes London the major freight hub for industry. It is critical for UK industry that new services are developed to emerging markets as this is where Heathrow is already falling behind competitors due to lack of capacity.”

The association has commissioned a report ‘Sky High Value – The importance of air freight to the UK economy’ which is due to be launched on 20 March 2014. The aim is to raise the importance of air freight in the debate, which to date has focused mainly on passenger and business travel.

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