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Freight Transport Association welcome Heathrow Announcement

The government’s decision to approve a third runway at Heathrow to expand UK airport capacity has been welcomed by the Freight Transport Association (FTA).

The FTA has said the move is “the right choice for the UK economy, the freight industry and the nation.”

The Association recently wrote to the government urging them to quickly make the decision in favour of a third runway at Heathrow to enable the next phase of planning and decision making to commence.

The FTA has campaigned hard to highlight the importance of air freight to the UK’s economy. It has also outlined why a decision supporting the Airports Commission recommendation for a third runway is vital for UK importers and exporters who rely on the expansion of Heathrow.

It is estimated that around 40% of UK imports and exports by value are dependent on air freight and the wide range of services provided by Heathrow to access our overseas markets.

Chris Welsh, FTA Director of Global and European Policy, said: “This is excellent news for the freight and logistics industry and the country. This decision is even more vital in a post-Brexit world where Britain’s capability to expand its trade and ability to compete in markets outside Europe is heavily dependent on connectivity to emerging markets.

“Freight and passenger services have a strong synergy at Heathrow.  It is the wide diversity of destinations and services which makes it such an attractive proposition for those shipping cargo.  Airlines accepting freight in the belly hold of passenger planes can often make the difference between services being profitable or not.”

Mr Welsh said that following the Brexit vote, the decision took on even more importance to maintain the UK’s position a world leader in trade. This will allow Britain to explore markets outside of Europe such as emerging markets in Asia, South America and the Indian subcontinent.

He commented: “So much economic activity relies upon air freight across the UK – it is critical to economic recovery that the nation can demonstrate it is open for business with a smooth and reliable journey from our international gateways.”

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