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Dnata unveils Heathrow project details

By control on January 31, 2013

Ground handling provider dnata has released details of the dnata City cargo complex, scheduled to open this October at London Heathrow.

The 20-acre development will comprise five airfreight warehouses, including two facilities from which dnata currently operates—the 140,000 sq ft Cargo Point and 79,000 sq ft West Point—that serve Virgin Atlantic’s 21 daily widebody flights. A 60,000 sq ft facility nearby is dedicated to Cathay Pacific’s passenger and freighter cargo operations. Three new facilities at dnata City will provide 206,000 sq ft of additional space, incorporating chiller rooms and valuables facilities, and will have fully automated cargo handling.

The complex will also encompass the handler’s existing 60,000 sq ft self-contained transport yard, where it has a fleet of 85 trucks carrying out 4,000 movements per week and servicing 656 flights.

“As a global player in the air cargo business, dnata is committed to making a strong contribution to improving Heathrow Airport’s air cargo infrastructure,” said Gary Morgan, CEO of dnata’s U.K. operations. “We were concerned about the lack of new air cargo facilities and felt the need to step forward to create and deliver industry-leading air cargo services which will shape the future of our industry at Heathrow.”

Mohammed Akhlaq, business development director for dnata’s U.K. cargo business, added that carriers were now contributing their ideas on design aspects and handling systems.

Construction will begin in February and mechanical handling specifications will be confirmed in March. Tenant are expected to have access from August, while offices are fitted out.

Dnata entered the U.K. ground handling market in 2010, acquiring Plane Handling, which provided ramp and cargo handling services at Heathrow and cargo handling services at Manchester Airport, together with Aviance’s passenger and ramp handling operations at Heathrow Terminals 3 and 4. The company has become one of the largest handlers at Heathrow, dealing with 19,000 aircraft turnarounds and more than 320,000 tonnes of cargo per year.

The dnata City project has a dedicated website at, including a video animation.

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