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Act quick on expansion or Heathrow may lose prominence

30 May 2017

Creation of increased airport capacity in the South East of England is vital if the UK is to retain its position as a global trading hub, according to the Freight Transport Association.

FTA used its response to the Government’s Draft Airports National Policy Statement, to call for a swift resolution to discussions over the construction of a third runway at Heathrow before Heathrow loses further prominence in global trading to its European neighbours.

“FTA has consistently supported the construction of a third runway at Heathrow, in preference to Gatwick,” says Alex Veitch, the association’s head of global policy, “as our members believe it will deliver greater economic benefits to the whole of the UK from what is the key logistics hub for the entire country. Cargo is currently sent to and from Heathrow to 185 destinations in 84 countries – it is a vital link in the UK’s supply chain. Now that the Government has made a decision on its preferred option for expansion it is imperative that the decision-making process is concluded rapidly and that expansion work starts swiftly to protect the airport’s reputation as the UK leading airfreight gateway. Without it, Heathrow runs the risk of further losing ground to other European airports, including Paris Charles de Gaulle and Schipol, and could find it hard to attract business to London from other locations across Europe, post-Brexit.”

FTA’s Sky High Value report into the value of extending Heathrow’s capacity, can be downloaded at http://www.fta.co.uk/export/sites/fta/_galleries/downloads/air_freight/Skyhighweb.pdf.