Action needed to avert UK airfreight capacity crisis

London's 'Boris Island' airport proposal would come too late and be in the wrong place, warns cargo airline CEO.

'Boris Island' airport Coyne Airways Larry Coyne

A Thames Estuary airport would add to the UK’s economic woes, as the country’s competitiveness continues to be compromised by the lack of capacity at Heathrow, according to Larry Coyne, CEO of all-cargo airline Coyne Airways.

The interim fix of a third runway is a must to prevent cargo capacity being frozen and the UK loosing out to hubs in mainland Europe, he told guests at Coyne Airways’ 20th anniversary celebrations in London last week.

Just under half of the UK’s exports by value go by air, with Heathrow already working at 98 percent flight capacity and processing around 65 percent of the UK’s air cargo traffic.

He added that a Thames Estuary airport would be in the wrong place, putting a huge barrier, London, between the new hub and the nation’s main source of manufacturing in the Midlands .It would, he said, also ‘spell disaster’ for the thousands of businesses set up around Heathrow to service the cargo industry.