Dubai-based air services provider dnata has revealed details of a plan to build a purpose built cargo logistics centre at the heart of London Heathrow Airport.
Dnata City will include a 20-acre cargo complex centred around five air freight warehouses, a transportation facility and yard for airside operations enclosed in a security-fenced area.
“As a global player in the air cargo business, dnata is committed to making a strong contribution to improving Heathrow Airport’s air cargo infrastructure,” said Gary Morgan, CEO of dnata’s UK operations.
“We were concerned about the lack of new air cargo facilities and felt the need to step forward to create and deliver industry-leading air cargo services which will shape the future of our industry at Heathrow,” he added.
Two of the dnata City buildings — the 140,000 sq ft Cargo Point and 79,000 sq ft West Poin t— currently handle 21 wide-body flights daily for Virgin Atlantic, with a 60,000 square foot facility nearby at Bedfont Road dedicated to Cathay Pacific’s passenger and freighter cargo operations.
The dnata City complex will also encompass the handler’s existing 60,000 sq ft self-contained transport yard, where it has a fleet of 85 trucks providing 24/7 coverage with 4,000 truck movements currently servicing 656 flights every week.
“dnata City can offer customers a range of versatile options to suit their specific needs,” said Mohammed Akhlaq, business development director, Cargo, for dnata’s business in the UK.
“At this stage we are able to have meaningful input from carriers into both design aspects and to ensure we have the required handling systems in place.”
Three additional facilities at dnata City will provide 206,000 sq ft of new cargo space.
The new, buildings will consist of a 78,000 sq ft cargo warehouse with 15,000 sq ft of office space; a 54,000 sq ft facility with 11,000 sq ft of offices and a 40,000 sq ft building with 8,000 sq ft of office space.
The new facilities will also feature fully automated cargo handling systems as well as chiller rooms, valuable handling facilities and are specially designed to handle peak freighter cargo alongside general cargo flows.
This week, dnata officially unveiled a dedicated website for the project including detailed video animations of the complex and ‘live link’ of the site.
In December, dnata said it has added Air India to its growing number of clients in the UK.
Following on its business wins with Pakistan's Airblue in Manchester and Aeromexico at Heathrow earlier this week, dnata said it has now started ground handling services for the Indian carrier.