Heathrow cargo tunnel closure set to cause delays

Source: Heathrow Airports Limited

There are warnings of potential delays to cargo at Heathrow after a safety issue resulted in the temporary closure of a tunnel linking the cargo terminal area (CTA) with terminal four (T4).

In an operational advice notice, the airport said that the tunnel was closed due to a “life safety issue” but gave no further information.

The airport asked airside operators to minimise journeys between the CTA and T4. It had set up staging areas for cargo at stands 357 and 431.

The airport added that for essential journeys all airside operators must use alternative routes to reach T4 and CTA.

For essential journeys not able to use the landside road system an overland diversion route has been provided via the eastern tug road where vehicles would be escorted in convoys across the taxiway system.

One freight forwarder contact said that some airlines were restricting the amount of freight that could be sent to Heathrow and warning of delays or re-routes.

At this stage, it is not clear how long it will take until the tunnel will re-open.

Air Cargo News has contacted Heathrow for a response.

The Heathrow cargo community has often complained about congestion at the airport and the closure comes as the air cargo peak season gets underway and cargo volumes at the airport continue to recover.

In August, cargo volumes reached their highest monthly level since December 2021 at 117,145 tonnes, which also represents an increase of 13.2% year on year.

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]