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Air Cargo World:  CVG reports 38% cargo traffic growth in early 2021, preps for more expansion

Air Cargo World / Caryn Livingston / April 6, 2021

After reporting a 14.8% year-over-year increase in cargo tonnage during 2020, the cargo handle at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) is already up by around 38% YoY for the first two months of 2021, to 252,509 short tons (229,072 tonnes), thanks to exponential growth in e-commerce and express traffic.

An aggressive slate of cargo projects in support of major express and e-commerce operators is set to open this year, and airport leadership has already identified a new area for expansion west of the airport and adjacent to a taxiway, dubbed “hangar row” by CVG Chief Executive Candace McGraw.

CVG is the Americas hub for integrator DHL and the primary Amazon Air hub, although Amazon’s own facilities at the airport are still under construction, with the first phase to open later this year, McGraw told Air Cargo World in an interview this week.

A multi-tenant facility developed by Aeroterm already opened in March, with FedEx as the primary tenant, but the airport is prioritizing additional development under its new five-year strategic plan launched at the beginning of 2021. Aeroterm told Air Cargo World when its facility opened that it planned to develop additional space adjacent to that facility, potentially adding another 120,000 square feet of space for cargo operations. DHL also has another 50-acre parcel adjacent to its current facility, and McGraw said the integrator is considering expanding there.

There is also significant land available off-airport, McGraw said, including a 237-acre site that is currently being developed primarily for distribution facilities. In total, CVG has 7,700 acres under its control, McGraw said.

Apart from the current express facility development, the new hangar row CVG hopes to add during the next five years could accommodate four or five hangars, McGraw said, and would likely include support facilities such as avionics shops and MRO operations.

“We would like to build that sometime over the next five years, working either for individual hangar construction or build[ing] a whole campus out and we’re really starting to explore that now,” McGraw said. “I think that would help drive additional cargo development here if we can do some of the MRO operations, avionics, and maybe even some passenger aircraft overnights there.”

Building out the airport’s passenger aircraft accommodations could help pull in new general cargo business from combination carriers, an operator type that McGraw said CVG is interested in attracting.

“I would love for them to be here and love to talk to them about that,” McGraw said. “Happy to talk to all takers.”

FULL STORY HERE (subscription-based)