Texarkana Regional Airport is considering whether to become a future destination and launching point for air freight.
Northwest Arkansas National Airport, the state’s second-largest airport, has commissioned a cargo study to examine ways to diversify its revenue sources, too.
In 2018, Memphis International Airport was the United States’ top airport by cargo, followed by Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Alaska and Louisville International Airport in Kentucky, according to Airports Council International-North America. Air cargo for the year was up 5.1% from 2017.
In Texarkana, Chamber Chamber of Commerce President Mike Malone spoke to Texarkana Regional Airport Authority Board members Thursday regarding possible plans for the Red River Air Cargo Association to help the airport attract air freight business.
The Red River Air Cargo Association is a nonprofit organization, “with a mission to attract, increase and expand air cargo throughout the region” in order to play a key role in regional economic development.
Malone, a Red River Air Cargo Association board member, also introduced Rob Sitterly, president and chief executive officer of the AR-TX Regional Economic Development Incorporation. Sitterly is also a Red River Air Cargo Association member as is Brian Matthews, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University-Texarkana, and Jamie Daigle, instructor of supply chain management at A&M-Texarkana.
The groups stressed that Red River Air Cargo Association’s central mission is to provide educational opportunities and supply chain management scholarships to help prepare college students for jobs in the transportation and logistics industries.
“The air cargo industry is one area that Texarkana has room for growth,” Daigle said. “[Red River Air Cargo Association] supports, informs and connects companies and organizations of all sizes in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas in order to play a role in developing an efficient, modern and unified air cargo industry in the area.”
In Northwest Arkansas, the contract for the study at Northwest Arkansas National Airport was awarded to Ohio-based Landrum & Brown Inc., a privately owned consulting firm that serves the commercial aviation segment worldwide.
The cargo study at Northwest Arkansas National Airport will cover, among other things, the air cargo industry and the market overview, cargo development and strategic assessment, and a cargo demand forecast and capacity analysis.
Michael Webber, associate vice president with Landrum & Brown, said in response to emailed questions that air cargo is carried by passenger aircraft and dedicated cargo planes, with the vast majority carried on freighters run by UPS, FedEx and Amazon.
He said in the email that air cargo operations are an important element of airport operations because it tends to be made up of high-value, low-weight commodities.
State Desk on 12/22/2019
Print Headline: Groups look at growth of air cargo industry