Heathrow Airport has ended 2017 as the fastest growing major cargo airport in Europe with volumes almost reaching 1.7 million tonnes.
The London airport handled 1,698,455 tonnes of cargo in 2017, up 10.2 per cent compared to 2016, which it says is the equivalent of 134,000 London buses.
The key markets for growth were the US, East Asia and Europe, and December was also strong with volumes increasing 7.3 per cent to 143,353 tonnes, helped by the US, Japanese and Hong Kong markets all performing particularly well.
Heathrow Airport chief executive officer, John Holland-Kaye says: “Heathrow had its best year ever in 2017 helping to strengthen the British economy as the country seeks to redefine its role in the world.
“Our colleagues welcomed 78 million passengers and supported the delivery of record volumes of British trade to markets around the world. We’re looking forward to continuing to deliver for Britain in 2018 as we progress our expansion plans.”
Other achievements throughout the year was reducing the noise footprint to the smallest recorded level in 11 years with 15 per cent fewer households affected by noise, which it says is the result of working with airlines to encourage the use of quieter aircraft.
Heathrow has also passed a key milestone to deliver a third runway by launching its first public planning consultation.