During an interview with BBC Politics South East, on Sunday 20 June, Cllr Karen Constantine, Kent County Councillor for Ramsgate, made a number of factually incorrect statements – which we have corrected below.
Cllr Constantine incorrectly stated that Stansted Airport has “been gifted another 16,000 air transport movements (ATMs) for dedicated freight/cargo movements every year.”
In actual fact, under the recent planning permission, Stansted Airport has accepted a cap of 16,000 cargo movements, down from the previous cap of 20,500, in order to be able to increase the number of passengers handled by the airport without increasing the overall number of air transport movements.
This represents a reduction of 4,500 air cargo movements that Stansted is able to handle each year, not an increase.
Total numbers of UK air cargo movements
Further, Ms Constantine said: “What we had pre-COVID was a maximum of 14,000 air cargo/freight flights in the country.”
This is also incorrect. In 2019, UK airports collectively handled 57,535 air cargo flights (with a further 3,300 handled by the Channel Islands and Isle of Man). More than 15,000 of these cargo flights were handled by London and the South East airports.
In 2020, there were more than 83,000 cargo movements, 37,000 of which were handled by airports in London and the South East.
This is an increase of more than 25,000 cargo flights – 22,000 of which were handled by airports in London and the South East.