Ohio cargo gateway to benefit from FAA grant

Last week, the Columbus Regional Airport Authority (CRAA) confirmed that Rickenbacker International Airport, the cargo-focused air gateway in Ohio for which it is responsible, is slated to receive $15m from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for airport improvements.

These improvement, which will include runway upgrades, are expected to support a significant increase in cargo activity at the airport over the next 20 years.

Rickenbacker is among those US gateways that are expected to benefit from the US’s Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 that made available an additional $1.5bn of supplemental Airport Improvement Program funding.

This budget deal was signed into law in February 2018.

“The FAA grant and these improvements align with Rickenbacker’s growth strategies over the next two decades,” observed Joseph Nardone, president & chief executive of CRAA.

“We are grateful to our Ohio congressional delegation and US secretary of transportation Elaine Chao for recognising Rickenbacker’s economic importance to the region and its critical role in international commerce,” he added.

“Infrastructure is the shot in the arm our economy needs to continue its growth, and this investment in central Ohio is no exception,” congressman Steven Stivers declared.

“Rickenbacker is a critical component of our community for tourism and business, and maintaining their facilities is in everyone’s best interest. I’m glad to see that the FAA understands that and is committed to fulfilling the full grant amount that was requested for these crucial repairs.”

Located in Columbus, Ohio, Rickenbacker International Airport is dedicated to air cargo. It is located within a single day’s drive of nearly half of the US population as well as one-third of Canada’s.

It serves important freight carriers such as AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC), Cargolux, Cathay Pacific Cargo, China Airlines Cargo, Emirates SkyCargo and Etihad Cargo. FedEx and UPS also fly through Rickenbacker, adding express cargoes to the freight carried by these big freighter operators.

Only last month (April), ABC confirmed that it would double its scheduled freighter operations through Rickenbacker to a twice-weekly frequency.

The carrier introduced Columbus into its global network in April 2018 and has, it said, so far seen “stable demand” to/from Rickenbacker on its services through the airport.

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