Heathrow Airport sees cargo volumes fall in August

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Heathrow Airport, aerial view.

Heathrow Airport has seen its fourth consecutive monthly year-on-year (YOY) fall in August, with cargo volumes dropping by 0.2 per cent to 122,540 tonnes.

The airport has seen cargo volumes fall in May, June, July and August having experienced YOY growth of at least two per cent in every month between January and April. The year started with YOY growth of 3.3 per cent in January to 115,847 tonnes, followed by the biggest increase of the year in February, of 7.7 per cent to 118,248 tonnes. Volumes grew by 2.9 per cent YOY in March to 136,842 tonnes and by 2.2 per cent to 122,879 tonnes in April.

May saw a decline of 0.7 per cent to 125,067 tonnes, followed by a larger YOY drop of 1.9 per cent to 122,964 tonnes. July saw the largest YOY fall, dropping by 5.4 per cent to 121,240 tonnes before the 0.2 per cent dip in August. Between January and August 2015, cargo volumes have increased by 0.8 per cent to 985,627 tonnes. Over the past 12 months, between September 2014 and August 2015, cargo volumes have increased by 2.6 per cent to 1.5 million tonnes.

Heathrow Airport chief executive officer, John Holland-Kaye says the UK government needs to approve a third runway as soon as possible. He says: “Heathrow expansion is the right and deliverable solution for the whole of the UK. Every month that we delay is costing our economy £1 billion [$1.5 billion].”

In July, the government appointed Airports Commission recommended building a third runway at Heathrow, to the North West of the existing two runways. At the time it said cargo capacity could increase to three million tonnes. It also ruled out a fourth runway, saying when Heathrow is at capacity, other airports such as Stansted Airport should be considered as airfreight hubs.