The view from the top
Returning to the major hubs making up the five airports with the largest cargo handles for 2018, in order, they include Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), Memphis International Airport (MEM), Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG), Incheon International Airport (ICN), and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC). Among the five largest airports, four (all but PVG) reported y-o-y increases in cargo tonnage handled during 2018, and HKG reached a tonnage of more than 5 million. Only the North American hubs of MEM and ANC surpassed 3% growth for the year – both thanks largely to massive volumes handled by U.S. integrator FedEx.
“It’s been a big year for ANC regarding future development,” said Airport Manager Jim Szczesniak. “FedEx is expanding their facilities at ANC and we have three other cargo developments that were announced for ANC.” Despite its place near the top of the ranking, ANC continues to pursue aggressive growth, with the airport telling Air Cargo World that current combined projects at the airport add up to an investment of more than US$500 million and are set to add 1.4 million square feet of warehouse space at ANC.
At MEM, FedEx operations account for more than 99% of cargo operations, and the express giant has committed to expand its hub and extend its lease at the airport.
Late last year, MEM president and CEO Scott Brockman told Air Cargo World that FedEx had recently entered an amendment of its lease, renewed in 2007, “which means FedEx can build an apron contiguous to their current lease lands.” He added then that FedEx would “build seven parking aprons, which will allow them to grow either day or night-time operations.”
MEM is also working to take the lead among airports investigating drone operations in airport airspace. While major airports across continents have faced flight cancellations due to unauthorized drone operations near airports, MEM said, “The airport is part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s UAS-Integration Pilot Program (UAS-IPP), which is examining how drones can safely and effectively operate in airport airspace.”