With final submissions on proposals for airport capacity in the UK due
today, the trade association for UK freight forwarders and logistics
service providers is hoping the Airport Commission does not get
distracted by all the ‘noise’ there has been on the subject in the last
The British International Freight Association’s (BIFA) Director General,
Peter Quantrill, observes that with a plethora of announcements from
rival schemes ahead of this week’s deadline for submissions: "the debate
is certainly hotting up and we still trust that the Airport Commission
takes a measured approach when it makes its interim recommendations in a
"Whilst many are rightly frustrated by past inertia, we shouldn’t forget
that this debate has its roots in the 1970s.
"Whether the Commission recommends expansion at existing airports or
construction of a new hub airport in its interim report in December, it
is essential that any new airport capacity is both affordable and
located where airlines, passengers and the freight community are best
"Ultimately this debate is not a battle between Heathrow and the rest of
the UK’s airports, but with the other international aviation hubs.
"In 2009, BIFA gave qualified support to the UK government’s decision to
allow a third runway at Heathrow airport.
"Of course, that decision was subsequently reversed and four years on,
we are still no closer to a decision on expanding UK aviation hub capacity.
"Despite all of this week’s noise, BIFA continues to support the
structured approach of the Airport Commission to its task of reviewing
airport capacity. We have submitted our initial response 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.
"We certainly hope those views are reflected in the Airport Commission’s
report later this year, and trust that the report will finally lead to