Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg visited Bondholder East Midlands Airport last week to understand more about its potential, and to meet business leaders to discuss how the airport could better serve them with possible new international connections.
The visit conicided with the announcement that the airport had enjoyed a record year for cargo and facilitated almost £10bn worth of goods from countries outside the EU.
The value of non-EU goods handled at the airport is four per cent up compared with the same period last year and, over the last 12 months, equates to almost £10bn* (£9.935bn).
The total amount of cargo (both EU and non-EU) that passed through EMA is also at its highest ever. In the 12 months up to March 2018, 358,477 tonnes of cargo were exported and imported through EMA, which is a 9.7% increase on the previous year.
She said: “These figures show that East Midlands Airport’s cargo performance continues to go from strength to strength and plays a hugely important role in boosting regional growth and investment
“Our regional airports support the backbone of our economy – providing skilled local jobs and business export opportunities which open the UK up to the world."
East Midlands Airport is the UK’s busiest for dedicated air cargo traffic. It is second only to Heathrow in terms of the total tonnage of cargo that passes through it annually.
Karen Smart, EMA’s Managing Director, says: “EMA’s cargo performance is a real success story, not just for this airport but for the region and the wider UK economy. We are now a major contributor to ensuring that the UK can compete on the global stage and trade all around the world.
“With more demand than ever for next day deliveries, we can only expect further growth especially in the e-commerce market. We need to ensure that we stay ahead of the game by improving our facilities so that more businesses can access international markets through EMA.”
EMA’s performance has attracted the attention of Government. While announcing its support for Heathrow’s third runway, the Government pledged to recognise the vital role that regional airports like EMA can play in stimulating the UK economy by making better use of current capacity.