East Midlands provides extra parking for freighters

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Karen Smart, managing director of East Midlands Airport

East Midlands Airport is upgrading infrastructure by widening the east apron to providing parking for up to four more aircraft at any one time.

The airport has experienced 10% year-on-year cargo growth, driven by people’s changing shopping habits.

Cargo operators are primarily serving the express freight/next-day-delivery market in response to more people shopping online ordering goods ranging from electronic items to clothes.

Aircraft using the east apron at the M1 motorway end of the field include FedEx/TNT, UPS, Royal Mail and other operators.

Also at the east side, UPS’s new facility is taking shape, with the £114 million development doubling the size of its operation at East Midlands.

Over the next six months, airport bosses will unveil a new business plan to realise the significant potential arising from the growth in e-commerce, which will outline further investment priorities.

Karen Smart, managing director of East Midlands Airport says: “Each year an estimated £50bn of UK imports and exports are handled at EMA much of which is serviced by express operators who offer a ‘next-day’ service to destinations across the world. Because we make an important economic contribution to the UK, continued investment in our infrastructure is key to facilitate regional and national economic growth and the attractiveness of this region because of its global connectivity.”

The apron extension is being carried out by contractors Galliford Try who have also delivered many of the main infrastructure improvement projects including runway resurfacing and apron improvements.

Colin Abbott, aviation director at Galliford Try says: “Galliford Try has considerable experience of working in complex airport environments across the UK and we’re looking forward to delivering the expansion of the cargo facilities in the coming months.”

Over 365,000 tonnes of goods fly in and out of East Midlands each year, with up to one million individual parcels and letters being handled each night.