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            october 23, 2019

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Air cargo ought to take centre stage of the UK government's aviation strategy


Air cargo ought to take centre stage of the UK government's aviation strategy, according to the nation's Freight Transport Association (FTA).
The call comes as the UK government has just launched a consultation on its future aviation strategy. The FTA would like a dedicated freight chapter in the white paper with a "clear and ambitious vision for air freight", reported London's Air Cargo News.
FTA's head of multimodal policy Alex Veitch was quoted as saying: "Air freight represents around 40 per cent by value of the UK's imports and exports and its importance will only increase as the UK looks to supplement European trading opportunities with economies further afield after Brexit.
"While a third runway at Heathrow Airport is an essential step forward, FTA also needs to see freight growth at all other UK airports, for example by providing clearer direction to planning authorities that they should support industry to make best use of capacity. Failure to provide suitable freight capabilities will only mean bleak prospects for British businesses seeking new global markets."
Mr Veitch continued: "Surface access is a significant barrier to growth; FTA is also calling for the government to commission a new Airport Connectivity Study to highlight where transport links and freight parking facilities need to be improved and set a programme for action. Security should also be a priority and policies consistently implemented across Whitehall departments.
"Digitalisation is also crucial and while government support for industry initiatives is welcome, government should also review where in the supply chain they require paper documents and move these to digital," he said.

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