U.K. airfreight groups again call for action on London Heathrow expansion

Pressure is being turned up again this week on Parliament in the U.K. to move forward on the planned third-runway expansion of London Heathrow Airport (LHR), as two airfreight groups called for action as soon as possible to relieve congestion caused by limited capacity.

Robert Keen, director general of the British International Freight Association (BIFA) weighed in today: “The U.K.’s freight forwarding community, which is the engine of Britain’s international trade, believes that a parliamentary vote in favor would be massive sign that we are a confident, outward-looking trading nation, still capable of taking bold decisions that have a direct positive effect on the UK economy, its international connectivity and reputation.”

Government officials, interest groups and forwarders have been all been vocal about the need for increased capacity at the airport. Earlier this week the Freight Transport Association (FTA) re-iterated its support of the initiative.

The ongoing push for a third runway at Heathrow Airport has been tentatively accepted by the Transport Select Committee of Parliament, on the condition that the potential effects of noise and air pollution are incorporated as planning continues. The airport recently reported an increase of 6.9 percent in metric tonnes of air cargo in January from the same period last year.

“While we understand the concerns of local residents concerning noise, FTA’s members support the balanced approach to aviation noise,” said Chris Welsh MBE, FTA’s director of international policy. “The planned expansion of Heathrow would increase the efficiency of the airport’s operations and ensure that the UK remains an attractive, cost effective destination for international business.”

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