Freight, regions make Heathrow case

Sir Howard Davies at House of Lords 15 July Airports Commission hearing

UK government’s Airports Commission chairman Sir Howard Davies has highlighted the key role airfreight and the regions played in its recommendation that Heathrow Airport should get a third runway.

Heathrow presents more opportunities for freight companies as many have facilities near the airport and would benefit the UK economy, Davies says. He adds that regional connectivity was vital in the decision to recommend Heathrow. He says a third runway will improve connectivity for UK regions and give businesses access to worldwide markets.

Davies was speaking to the economic affairs committee of the UK’s upper legislative chamber, the House of Lords, on Wednesday 16 July. He says: “It’s all about the hub and access to Heathrow. Airlines want to get on routes to connect to their network.”

At the hearing, Davies says the commission feels the economic case is, “decisively,“ in favour of Heathrow and the future benefits of expanding it are “noticeably greater“.

The commission chose Heathrow over Gatwick Airport for a new runway. Davies says of that decision: “Heathrow…has a network of freight forwarders, that does not exist at Gatwick.“

He also urges the UK government to make a decision soon, as says the country is losing business to other countries by delaying runway expansion.

The government’s Department of Transport will decide on aviation capacity by the end of the year.