Heathrow Airport has revealed that cargo volumes have increased by 7% as it is buoyed by the expansion decision.
The rise has capped a buoyant month for the transport hub after the government decided to expand the airport at the end of last month.
Heathrow officials said that cargo volumes increased by 7% in October, although the total number of passengers went down slightly to 6.5 million from 6.8 million in September. This is along with a 1.2% year on year fall which it blames on last month’s Hurricane Matthew in the US.
The airport accounted for 30% of all exports from the UK by value outside the EU last year, and Heathrow has seized upon the latest increase in cargo numbers to further argue that the government’s decision to green light expansion was the right one.
Consultations on a draft policy statement are set to get underway next year, though it is expected to be a long and arduous road to securing the construction of a third runway at the London airport with continued opposition and legal battles set to carry on taking place.
John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow Chief Executive, said that the airport had already started planning how to deliver a third runway and was keen to emphasise that the benefits of expansion would be felt right across the UK.
He added: “With the support of communities across the UK, Heathrow is now working at pace to deliver the benefits of Britain’s new runway – an affordable plan that creates more jobs, boosts exporters and builds an economy that is stronger and fairer for everyone – as quickly as possible.”
The third runway at Heathrow threatens to worsen air quality in central London, according to the Government’s own analysis.
It also raised doubts over whether another runway could be opened in 2025 at the west London airport without breaching EU legal limits on air pollution.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said that meeting air quality legal requirements is a condition of planning approval.