Air Cargo

Air freight currently accounts for 40% of UK imports and exports by value and is vital for the UK economy. The FTA is campaigning for policies to support the air freight sector, ensuring its growth and sustainability in the long term.

Air Cargo


UK airports have nearly reached capacity. FTA is working closely with Government, members and stakeholders to support sustainable growth at hubs like Heathrow and flexible policies to back development in and around our regional airports, including surface access for freight. Freight slots, particularly at night, are key for many express carriers, and we work extensively on policy issues related to night flying. 

A balanced approach is needed to ensure the air cargo supply chain continues to operate efficiently while meeting environmental targets. The FTA is committed to supporting its members with a move towards a sustainable future, balancing environmental and noise concerns with service quality and affordability.  


Key facts

  • Air freight contributes £7.2 billion to the UK economy and supports over 151,000 jobs 

  • 9% of Gross Value Added (GVA) in the North West is currently dependent on air freight services, compared to less than 2% of London’s output 

  • While Germany is the largest exporter to non-EU countries, only 25% of its goods by value are transported by air, where the UK, the second largest total export market, ships a far higher proportion (49% by value) by air 


What is FTA campaigning for?

FTA has five priorities for Air Cargo:

  • Decarbonisation: a balanced approach to sustainable development 

  • Growth: flexible policies to support growth at UK airports 

  • Deliver a third runway at Heathrow 

  • Freight slots: transparent, fair access for freight services 

  • Remove barriers to trade and improve efficiency 


Policy Manager


Zoe McLernon

Policy Manager - Multimodal 



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