Aberdeen Standard Investments’ Airport Industrial Property Unit Trust (AIPUT) fund has signed a pre-let agreement with dnata for a new cargo facility near Heathrow Airport.
The proposed 115,000 sq ft facility at dnata City East has been designed to operate in conjunction with a recently-completed 250,000 sq ft dnata warehouse, which handles Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo’s airfreight at Heathrow.
Subject to planning consent, the proposed new facility will make “dnata City East comfortably the largest off-site cargo handling operation at the UK’s largest commercial aviation hub”, AIPUT said.
The fund said the facility has been specifically designed to accommodate the operational requirements of dnata and its client, Virgin/Delta. The two dnata City East buildings together will double the size of the airlines’ joint cargo operations at Heathrow.
The facility will use solar PV panels, air-source heat pumps and electric vehicle charging – targeting environmental standard BREEAM’s ‘Very Good’ rating as a minimum.
Nick Smith, fund manager for AIPUT, said: “This pre-let supports AIPUT’s long-term vision to grow our high-quality air cargo portfolio at Heathrow. Our successful partnership with dnata at dnata City East sets a new benchmark for airport industrial property investment, in terms both of its unprecedented scale and the industry-leading environmental credentials of the buildings.
“Our proposed new warehouse is set to further reinforce the status of this critically important logistics destination as the most significant off-airport cargo-handling operation at Heathrow.”
Dnata UK chief executive Gary Morgan added: “We are thrilled to enhance our operations in the UK by committing to another state-of-the-art facility in London Heathrow.
“Our final phase of dnata City East builds on the multi-million pound investments we have made at the airport in the last five years, cementing our position as a leading cargo services provider in the country. We continue to invest in advanced infrastructure and cutting-edge technologies to deliver the best possible services for our customers.”