Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Freight Forwarders and Logistics Providers Get a Chance to Comment on Airport Expansion Schemes

Airports Commission Proposals Can be Subject to Public Praise or Criticism
Shipping News Feature

UK – In July the Airports Commission commenced a six week consultation regarding the delivery of new runway capacity, having studied the results of this and previous evidence there is now a further opportunity to comment with a new consultation announced last week, and the British International Freight Association (BIFA), the trade association for UK freight forwarders and logistics service providers, welcomed unequivocally the opportunity to participate. Director General of the British International Freight Association (BIFA), Robert Keen said:

“The Airports Commission announced a major consultation exercise on the future of air transport and airport capacity in the UK following the publication of its initial assessment of proposals for additional runway capacity at Gatwick and Heathrow airports. As part of that consultation, BIFA will continue to submit our thoughts to the Commission relative to the constraints imposed by capacity limitations, UK global connectivity, the importance of air freight and the key facilitative role played by the freight forwarder.

“It is our view that an expanded Heathrow airport will enable airlines to provide wider access to developing markets and hence increase UK trade. Any further delay in providing the UK with a world class hub airport can only damage the UK economy. We can only hope that after the general election in May 2015, the welter of evidence as presented will be such that there will be cross-party consensus and politicians will give the green light and adopt the Airports Commission’s recommendations in full and finally get things started on a much overdue expansion of UK aviation hub capacity.”

The consultation presents the commission’s analysis of the proposals shortlisted by the commission last year, two for expansion at Heathrow Airport and one proposal at Gatwick Airport. It invites public comment on the commission’s detailed consideration of each proposal which includes analysis of the cost of each proposal, the effect on communities of noise, property loss and construction, and the economic benefits and environmental impacts. Sir Howard Davies, Airports Commission Chairman said:

“Since our Interim report last year we have undertaken a huge amount of work. We have carried out a thorough assessment, across a comprehensive range of subjects, looking at the benefits and impacts of each proposal. We have not yet taken a view on which proposal strikes the most effective balance between the assessment criteria.

“It is important first that we provide an opportunity for this evidence to be examined, challenged and improved. This consultation gives everyone with an interest in the issue of airport expansion that opportunity. Responses to this consultation will be a valuable addition to our evidence base and will directly inform our recommendation to the government when we publish our final report in the summer of 2015.”

The new Airports Commission consultation will run until 3 February 2015.