How to Build Cargo Capacity at an Airport: Attract Industries to Nearby Locations

Atlanta's efforts to attract new cargo traffic to its airport will require new facilities on site as well as new facilities for industries nearby.

Jim Burress writes about the difficult, but lucrative, prospect of generating more cargo traffic at airports—a current goal of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Although Atlanta's airport is the world busiest for passenger traffic, it doesn't crack the top 30 in cargo, a list populated by Louisville, Anchorage, and Indianapolis.

While traditional cargo markets are stagnant, the airport is looking to create facilities that cater to a unique sector of cargo: perishable goods, like pharmaceuticals and fresh flowers.

Burress also speaks with Enno Osinga who runs cargo operations at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport and serves as Vice Chair of Vice-Chair of The International Air Cargo Association. Here are Osinga's telling words about airports and their relationship to the surrounding city: "An airport, if you look at it unkindly, is a bit of concrete. It’s got runways. It’s got aprons…They’re all the same."

Adds Burress: "The key to bolstering cargo operations, Osinga says, is to convince industry to build nearby."

Full Story: The new growth engine for airports: cargo


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