Airfreight organisations have welcomed the recommendation of the UK government’s Airports Commission that Heathrow Airport be given a third runway and urge a quick decision by the governing Conservative party.
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is urging the government to make a quick decision. The FTA’s director of global and European policy, Chris Welsh, says: “Additional capacity at Heathrow is critical to allow importers and exporters to access new and emerging markets in Asia, South America and the Indian sub-continent. FTA urges the Government to take on board these recommendations and act quickly.”
However, in the UK parliament on Wednesday 1 July, UK government prime minster and Conservative party leader, David Cameron, said only that a decision would be made by the end of the year.
The Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK) says that the commission recommendation has widespread support from international airlines serving the UK. BAR UK’s chief executive, Dale Keller, says: “Now is the time for everyone, including politicians of all parties, to pull together in the national interest and support the bold plans to expand and improve airport infrastructure at Heathrow.”
The British International Freight Association’s (BIFA) has backed the proposal for expansion at Heathrow. BIFA’s director general, Robert Keen, says: “ Over the past decades, successive UK governments have shown a singular lack of vision in the face of a massive surge in air transport and consequent pressure on existing airport infrastructure in the South East. In 2009, BIFA gave qualified support to the then UK government’s decision to allow a third runway at Heathrow airport. We trust that today’s report will finally lead to some action.”
The Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA) has welcomed the third runway recommendation. BACA gives its full backing to the speedy implementation of the findings of the report. It is urging that construction goes ahead at the earliest possible opportunity and that any objections should be dealt with quickly within a time limit of three months. BACA wants the UK Government to respond quickly and begin implementing the findings with immediate effect.
BACA chairman, Tony Coe, says: “With UK airport capacity at full stretch there should be no further delays in the building of the runway at Heathrow. The issue of UK airport capacity has to be urgently addressed, BACA is of the opinion that the new runway should be the number one infrastructure priority for the UK.”
Pro airport expansion group Let Britain Fly is calling for even more capacity expansion. Let Britain Fly director, Gavin Hayes, says: “All of London’s airports will be full by the end of the next decade. The urgency of the situation requires the Government to grasp the moment and respond to the Airports Commission’s final report in a timely manner. Kicking the can down the road for another year is no longer an option.”
Let Britain Fly has support from the British Chambers of Commerce, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, London First, Institute of Directors and the Federation of Small Businesses.