dnata starts City East construction

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Aberdeen Standard Investments’ AIPUT fund (Airport Industrial Property Unit Trust) has today announced the start of construction on Phase II of dnata City East, a 11,000 sq m extension of its landmark air cargo facility located immediately to the south of Heathrow Airport.

The building will be operated by dnata, the largest independent cargo-handler serving Heathrow, together with the nearby dnata City East Phase I warehouse, also built by AIPUT and pre-let to dnata.

Due for completion by early October 2021, the new building – specifically designed to meet the operations requirements of dnata – will strengthen dnata City East’s status as the largest off-airport cargo handling operation at the UK’s primary commercial aviation hub.

Specialist industrial and logistics contractor, McLaren Group, has been appointed as lead contractor for the build programme, reporting to project manager, Avison Young.  The project will be delivered in line with AIPUT’s Carbon Strategy, which commits the fund to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025.

The latest carbon reduction techniques will be incorporated into the building’s construction and operations in order to future-proof both the operational and commercial value of the wider dnata City East location.  Recycled and low-carbon materials will be used where possible, together with the installation of solar PV panels, air-source heat pumps and electric vehicle charging points.  The new building will target a rare BREEAM ‘Excellent’ environmental rating.

Edward Amery, head of UK industrial & logistics for Aberdeen Standard Investments, commented: “AIPUT’s new, landmark warehouse at dnata City East will reinforce our long-term vision to drive the continued growth of our portfolio of prime air cargo assets at Heathrow. The completed dnata City East site will set a new benchmark for airport industrial property investment, with AIPUT’s partnership with dnata creating a new, off-airport centre of excellence for UK airfreight.”

Alex Doisneau, managing director, dnata (UK), added: We are delighted to be working with AIPUT in completing the dnata City East complex with the Phase II build, this highlights our growing commitment to the UK’s premier gateway airport in creating world-leading cargo infrastructure to support and enhance our customer and operational needs at this critical time.”