New 115,000 sq ft building confirms AIPUT’s dnata City East as Heathrow’s largest off-airport cargo handling operation
Aberdeen Standard Investments’ AIPUT fund (Airport Industrial Property Unit Trust) yesterday secured a unanimous vote by the London Borough of Hounslow’s Planning Committee, in favour of planning permission for the proposed 115,000 extension to its landmark dnata City East air cargo facility, located immediately to the south of Heathrow Airport.
The 115,000 sq ft facility will be operated by dnata in conjunction with the existing 250,000 sq ft dnata City East warehouse at the site, which began operations in September 2019. The two buildings will handle all of Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo’s air freight passing through Heathrow, doubling the capacity of the two airlines’ joint cargo operations at the airport. The operational capacity of the two buildings represents roughly 10% of Heathrow’s total air-freight capability.
The new warehouse building at dnata City East has – like its counterpart - been specifically designed to meet the operational requirements of dnata (the largest independent cargo-handler serving Heathrow), and its client, Virgin/Delta. The new building will strengthen dnata City East’s status as the largest off-site cargo handling operation at the UK’s primary commercial aviation hub.
The latest carbon reduction techniques will be incorporated into both the building’s construction and operations, in line with AIPUT’s Carbon Strategy (requiring the fund to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025), working to future-proof both the operational and commercial value of the dnata City East facility. In addition to the use of recycled and low-carbon materials wherever possible, solar PV panels, air-source heat pumps and electric vehicle charging will be installed, with the aim of achieving a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating as a minimum.
Nick Smith, Fund Manager for AIPUT, said: “This latest planning permission represents a major step forward in AIPUT’s long-term vision to continue the development of our portfolio of prime air cargo assets at Heathrow. AIPUT’s partnership with dnata in successfully delivering the dnata City East project, sets a new benchmark for airport industrial property investment, creating a new centre of excellence for UK air freight operations.”
Subject to conditions being agreed, AIPUT hopes to complete the new warehouse building ready for operations to begin in the Autumn.
ChappellKing is instructed as AIPUT’s strategic development consultants for dnata City East.
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