Posts

Heathrow expansion

Heathrow expansion plans approved

The UK government has backed plans for the development of a new runway at Heathrow Airport.

The UK Cabinet’s economic sub-committee approved plans for a third runway at the London airport before the proposals were backed by the full cabinet.

The UK secretary of state for transport Chris Grayling said: “A successful, thriving aviation sector is critical to our ability as a nation to succeed, which is why we are developing a strategy to help it grow in a sustainable way.”

MPs of all parties will be asked to vote on the plans in the coming weeks.

The news was cautiously welcomed by freight forwarders.

Robert Keen, director general of the British International Freight Association (BIFA), said: “Hopefully, this news is the beginning of the end of years of procrastination over the expansion of UK aviation capacity.

“If that is the case, it is long overdue good news for our 1,500 member companies who have been dismayed over the ongoing delay on such a huge issue.

“However, we understand that MPs will now be asked to vote on the issue in the coming weeks and, given the track record of parliament on this issue over the last 20 years, uncertainties remain.

“Whilst the UK Transport Secretary has previously hinted at an expedited planning procedure, with no reopening of high level arguments, the inevitable legal challenges and the convoluted planning processes that are also likely, lead me to wonder whether any expansion will be completed by the time that UK aviation capacity is predicted to run out in 2025.

“I hope I am proved wrong, but I won’t be booking a ticket for the opening ceremony just yet.”

Heathrow chief executive John Holland Kaye said: “Together with our supporters across the country, we urge all MPs to vote for expansion.

“Their votes will connect all of Britain to global trade, increase competition and choice for passengers and create tens of thousands of new skilled jobs for future generations. The world is waiting for Britain. It’s time to vote for Heathrow expansion.”

However, it is not entirely certain that MPs could be relied on to vote in favour of the plan.

Boris Johnson, foreign secretary and member of parliament for Uxbridge, one of the regions that could be affected by an expanded Heathrow, said on one occasion that he would “lie down in front of the bulldozers” to prevent the new runway going ahead.

Many other prominent members of the Conservative Party are also against the plan, arguing that capacity at regional airports should be expanded instead of Heathrow.

Some Labour MPs are also opposed – despite the fact that a Labour Government had voted through an earlier version of the third runway scheme in 2009 – on environmental grounds, saying that it would breach air pollution and noise limits.

One possible solution for Prime Minister Theresa May is to allow Conservative MPs who oppose the plan to abstain, in the hope that there would be sufficient votes from other parties’ MPs to carry the plan through.

Bringing the long-running third runway saga to an end could be seen as a political coup for the minority Conservative government that has been grappling with the extremely thorny ‘Brexit’ issue over the last two years. It would also send a message that despite the UK’s exit from the European Union, the country is still open for business with the wider world.

There are also likely to be objections from local residents and environmental campaigners, who will argue that the plans will breach air pollution limits.

Grayling said it was a “historic moment”.

Announcing £2.6 billion in compensation for residents and noise abatement measures he said it would only proceed if air quality obligations were met.

“The time for action is now,” he told MPs, insisting the decision was being taken in the national interest and would benefit the whole of the UK – with 15% of new landing slots “facilitating” regional connectivity.

The scheme, he insisted, would be funded entirely privately and while the expansion was a “number of years away”, he believed it could be concluded by 2026.

The debate on expanding Heathrow has been going on for nearly 20 years.

The last Labour government backed the idea, and won a vote on it in 2009, but that plan was scrapped – and the idea of expansion put on hold for five years – by the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition formed after the 2010 election.

But the idea of expansion was resurrected and has been subsequently backed by the Conservatives. Ministers approved a draft national airports policy statement in October setting out the conditions for a new runway, Parliament has yet to give its approval for detailed planning to begin.

Heathrow is the largest UK port by value and has ambition is to become one of Europe’s best airports for cargo.

The UK economy benefits greatly from cargo, and Heathrow is the UK’s largest port by value for non-EU exports, transporting more than Felixstowe, Southampton and Liverpool.

They are also uniquely placed as a transatlantic and European gateway with 95% of the global economy potentially within reach of a direct flight from Heathrow. Nowhere is better placed to connect UK exporters to the world and help the UK achieve its target of doubling UK exports to £1 trillion by 2020.

Their strategy will lift freight volumes capacity to 3 million tonnes a year by 2040 through improved service and increased capacity from expansion. For cargo customers our aim is to become a trusted partner – timely, reliable and easy to do business with.

 

Source: Air Cargo News / BBC / Sky

air freight

Record Cargo performance for Heathrow in April

London-Heathrow airport cargo volumes enjoyed their 21st consecutive record month in April 2018, as trade growth at the UK’s largest port by value increased by 2.3% year on year to 141,215 tonnes compared to the same time last year.

The US (+4.1%), India (+7.1%) and China (+10.9%)  were among the fastest growing countries for cargo in April.

For the January to April 2018 period, Heathrow handled 557,950 tonnes, 3.8% increase, while in the running 12 months from May 2017 to April 2018, the hub handled just over 1.7m tonnes, an 8.8% rise.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “We’re seeing more passengers and trade flow through Heathrow than ever before. A third runway is a tremendous opportunity to grab a greater share of this global growth for Britain and we’re counting on our politicians to seize it with a ‘yes’ vote on Heathrow expansion this summer.”

Source: Air Cargo News / Heathrow Media Centre

Heathrow Cargo

Record breaking figures for Heathrow

Freight travelling through Heathrow reached record levels for the start of the year, as over 133,000 tonnes made its way through the airport in January, with export volumes growing by 10.6%.

The top destinations for cargo growth were the US (1,214t), Spain (1,070t) and China (966t).

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:

“Heathrow is off to a flying start, with record passenger numbers and cargo volumes and the start of our public consultation on the third runway.  Heathrow expansion will provide the global trading routes to super-charge Britain’s economy as we leave the EU.”

Heathrow has now launched one of the largest public planning consultations in the country’s history – the next milestone in the airport’s plans for expansion. The 10-week consultation offers the public the opportunity to shape the airport’s plans, enabling Heathrow to deliver the benefits of expansion while the keeping commitments made to local communities.

Heathrow remains the UK’s busiest port by value with over £100bn of goods travelling through the airport each year.

father christmas

Heathrow at Christmas

Heathrow has released new data revealing the wide array and surprising volumes of seasonal exports that fly in the bellyhold of planes in the months leading up to Christmas.  

Over 143 million kilograms of Christmas cargo is expected to fly via Heathrow to the world in the month leading up to December 25th, a record to date.

New data reveals a sharp spike in exports of seasonal essentials including Christmas lights, calendars, fish, lobster, and meat.

As the biggest port in the UK by value, Heathrow plays a crucial role in delivering the essential ingredients of Christmas celebrations to British homes and homes all over the world.  The airport’s data from November and December 2016 shows a clear spike in the volume of certain Christmas staples coming into the airport and out to non-EU destinations, including:

Christmas lighting sets – 27,467 kg (up from an average of 7,203 kg/month from January – October)

Frozen lobster – 443,146 kg (up from an average of 163,312 kg/month from January – October)

Calendars – 31,316 kg (up from an average of 3,382 kg/month from January – October)

Dried flowers, including for decorations –  310,677 kg (up from an average of 109,796 kg/month from January – October)

Salmon was the most popular export to non-EU destinations overall by weight in November and December 2016, with 6,070,000 kg of fish (equivalent to approximately 480 New London Routemaster Buses) recorded as flying through.    Exports of books were the second most popular commodity – with a recorded 4,834,000 kg going through last year (or approximately 382 New London Routemaster buses).

Heathrow’s data also reveals the top 5 destinations these exports are flying to outside the EU – showing the majority of long-haul exports are destined for American markets:

•United States (15.31 million kilograms)

•China (6.20 million kilograms)

•UAE (3.77 million kilograms)

•Australia (3.36 million kilograms)

•Hong Kong (2.77 million kilograms)

To highlight the wide array of exports flying out of its gates, Heathrow has today launched a “12 Exporters of Christmas” social media campaign.   Each day in the lead up to Christmas, Heathrow will highlight individual stories of SMEs up and down the country that rely on the airport to export British Christmas essentials including tea, jams and biscuits across the world.

In total, Heathrow has seen a record 290,340,803 kilograms of exports flying through from January to October to non-EU destinations this year – an 8.5% increase from the same period last year. These exports are worth an astounding £39.62 billion. Heathrow’s role as a trading hub will grow as expansion takes place, with cargo capacity set to double with the addition of a third runway.

Nick Platts, Head of Cargo at Heathrow Airport said: “Heathrow is at its busiest time at Christmas – and this year, we not only expect record numbers of passengers to fly through, but also a record amount of cargo to be flown in the holds under their feet.   Santa may still have the claim on the most deliveries on Christmas Eve, but for the months before it, Heathrow is doing its bit to export our British Christmas across the world.”

Source:

Heathrow media centre – All figures – unless indicated – exclude EU27 and Switzerland. Sources of figures: UK Tradeinfo, Seabury Group, Heathrow Analysis and Heathrow Monthly Traffic Figures

Heathrow terminal 6

Heathrow terminal 6 in jeopardy

It has been decided that plans for a 6th terminal will be halted to keep costs down whilst the 3rd runway is being built.  

Heathrow published its half yearly report last month, which made no mention of the proposed plans.  Instead it stated that further investment in terminals 2 and 5 will go ahead instead, which allows the work to be done over a longer period of time to keep the costs under control. Whilst keeping costs under control, this also means that passengers will not face an increase in air fares despite the building of the 3rd runway.

When terminal 6 was submitted for public consultation it discussed the loss of up to 700 homes in the area, and was scheduled to be built by 2020.

According to the report, over 30% of the UK’s non-EU exports by value pass through Heathrow today. In the six months ended 30 June 2017, Heathrow’s cargo volumes increased 9.1% to 0.82 million tonnes, one of the strongest periods in the last 5 years in terms of year on year performance, with notable increases on North America and the Middle East.

John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive Officer of Heathrow, said: “Heathrow’s strong start to 2017 is a boon for Britain…more British trade is flying high on new trading links and our expansion plans are on track. The Government set us the challenge to expand Britain’s hub while keeping airport charges close to current levels. Working with airlines, we are making good progress to meet this challenge whilst delivering all our local commitments and the global connections our country needs.”

Earlier this month it was announced that MPs will now not vote on Heathrow’s proposed expansion until 2018, with a final policy statement on airport capacity in the South East being delayed until next year.