Heathrow plans to double its volume of air freight, necessitating more trips by diesel powered HGVs and goods vehicles
Heathrow plans to double its air freight volumes in its aspiration to become one of the leading airports for cargo in Europe. CEO John Holland-Kaye announced at the British Chambers of Commerce that Heathrow will invest £180 million in the project and has its blueprint ready. Investment will be made to enhance air to air transit by building a facility on the airport for faster handling of transit cargo that arrives by air and is due to fly out again by air, reducing the times. The improvements to air freight is meant to be “essential for the growth and success of the UK economy.” (Where have we heard that before?) There will need to be a new truck parking facility for over 100 vehicles, with waiting arenas for drivers. There will be a special pharmaceutical storage area to move temperature-sensitive medicines and provide better infrastructure for faster freight movement. Holland-Kaye wants the UK “reach its £1 trillion export target by 2020.” Heathrow dealt with 1.50 million metric tonnes of cargo in 2014. This can only increase the number of HGVs in the Heathrow area. HGVs are all powered by diesel, not petrol – with its attendant higher NO2 emissions. Meanwhile Mr Holland-Kaye was at the EAC saying there would be no extra car journeys to/from Heathrow with a 3rd runway.
Heathrow to invest £180m in cargo facilities
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye announced at the British Chambers of Commerce that the airport will invest £180m in the project and has its blueprint ready.
Investment will be made to enhance air to air transit by building a facility on the airfield for faster handling of transit cargo that arrives by air and is due to fly out by air, reducing the times from a current average of more than hours.(sic)
E-freight will be fully implemented cut down on paper work and make it 100% digital.
The airport will build a new truck parking facility for over 100 vehicles, with waiting arenas for drivers.
The project includes development of a special pharmaceutical storage area to move highly valuable and temperature-sensitive medicines and provide better infrastructure for hazard-less movement of the freight in half of its usual time.
Being the international trade hub of the UK, Heathrow airport plays a critical role in connecting the British exporters to the global markets.
Freight Transport Association (FTA) director of global and European policy Chris Welsh said at the BCC conference: “Heathrow’s planned investment and increased freight capacity is excellent news, and exactly the type of commitment that FTA has long been asking for.
“The improvements it is proposing are essential for the growth and success of the UK economy.”
According to FTA, airfreight occupies 40% of UK’s imports and exports business.
“Cargo is essential for UK PLC and Heathrow is its global freight connector, with 26% of all UK goods by value going through the airport.
“This investment plan will significantly improve our cargo facilities and support British businesses to keep the economy moving, connecting exporters to the world and helping the government reach its £1 trillion export target by 2020,” Holland-Kaye added.
The airport dealt with 1.50 million metric tonnes of cargo in 2014.
Airports Commission did not properly look at air pollution related to air freight
Transport for London said Heathrow expansion “will lead to an increase in freight movements to and from the airport, and this was not properly included in the surface access assessment undertaken by the Airports Commission.”
“The real issue for air quality is vehicle traffic, not the airport.” – JHK
Heathrow’s bid for a 3rd runway includes doubling air freight – with associated increase in lorries
In Heathrow’s proposal for a 3rd runway, it plans to double its cargo capacity. It hopes this will help its bid, due to the financial value of air freight. In the past, some of the air freight industry have said Heathrow ignored their needs. Heathrow is now saying that its key logistics role as a single primary air freight hub for the UK is important for the economy, for export competitiveness, and essential for British importers and exporters to enable them to access key global markets. Some 65% of the UK’s £400bn air freight exports already travel via Heathrow, almost all as belly hold in passenger planes. The airport plans to have its freight area improved with a new cargo railhead, and better road links. Speaking at the Runways UK conference on 2nd June, Simon Earle said local residents consulted by Heathrow were unhappy about the number of HGV lorries. Air pollution is already often in breach of air quality levels. An article by T&E bemoans the resistance to changes and to cuts in polluting emissions by the lorry manufacturers. That does not bode well for Heathrow air quality, with much higher numbers of HGV movements in future.
Lorries: 21st-century fleet or dinosaurs on our roads?
Driving Europe’s transport industry in a more sustainable direction is a formidable challenge, not least because it means a fairly fundamental change in the way fairly large industries do their business.
It is in the DNA of these industries to resist change forced upon them by politicians.Carmakers oppose CO2 standards that make them fit clean tech to their cars, the aviation and shipping industries oppose doing their share and of course oil companies fight any kind of change that could end our addiction to their products.