The trade association that represents the UK’s freight forwarding and logistics businesses has given a cautious welcome to today’s news that the government has approved a third runway at Heathrow.
Robert Keen, Director General of the British International Freight Association (BIFA), said: “Today’s news appears to be the beginning of the end of years of procrastination over the expansion of UK aviation capacity.
“If that is the case, it is long overdue good news for our 1,500 member companies who have been dismayed over the ongoing delay on such a huge issue.
“However, we understand that a public consultation will now be held on the effects of airport expansion before the government makes a final decision as part of a national policy statement on aviation, with MPs then voting on that decision in the winter of 2017-18.
“If that is the case, uncertainties remain. Whilst the UK Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling has hinted at an expedited planning procedure, with no reopening of high level arguments, the inevitable legal challenges and the convoluted parliamentary and planning processes that are also likely lead me to doubt that any expansion will be completed by the time that UK aviation capacity is predicted to run out in 2025.
“I hope I am proved wrong, but I won’t be booking a ticket for the opening ceremony just yet.”