AIPUT secures pre-let to expand its dnata City East

posted on 5th December 2019 by Eddie Saunders

Aberdeen Standard Investments’ AIPUT fund (Airport Industrial Property Unit Trust) has signed a pre-let agreement with its long-standing customer, dnata, promoting the continued growth of its industry-leading air cargo facility at dnata City East, located immediately south of Heathrow Airport. 

The proposed 115,000 sq ft facility has been designed to operate in conjunction with a newly-completed 250,000 sq ft warehouse (also operated by dnata), handling all Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo’s air freight at Heathrow.  The existing building alone represented the largest off-airport pre-let in Heathrow’s history.   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.    

The proposed new facility at dnata City East has – like its counterpart – been specifically designed to accommodate the operational requirements of dnata (the largest independent cargo-handler serving Heathrow), and its client, Virgin/Delta.  The two dnata City East buildings together will double the size of the airlines’ joint cargo operations at Heathrow.

Like its counterpart, the proposed new facility will incorporate the latest carbon reduction initiatives In both its design and operation in line with AIPUT’s Carbon Strategy to future-proof the use and value of the facility – including the use of solar PV panels, air-source heat pumps and electric vehicle charging – targeting a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating as a minimum.    

Nick Smith, Fund Manager for AIPUT, owners of the site, 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 CEO, 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.”

ChappellKing is instructed as AIPUT’s strategic development consultants for dnata City East.