Air Freight

Air freight using UK airports is growing at a record rate and can give rise to a range of environmental problems, including the noise disturbance created by freight operations at night. But there are wider issues to consider, including whether it encourages unsustainable patterns of trade where “global markets” are favoured over the development of a thriving local economy; balanced against these arguments is the fact that many developing economies rely on such trade. As air freight is often overlooked by policy-makers, the Trust supported research to better understand these challenges and its implications for airport development in the UK. Undertaken by Rose Bridger, an expert on global supply chains, the research looked at the growth trends in air freight including an analysis of what is being flown in and out of UK airports, for what purpose, and its origins and destinations, and; what proportion of goods could be carried by other means (and the environmental, social and policy implications of this approach).