Airforwarders Association tackles US airport congestion

Photo: Jaromir Chalabala/ Shutterstock

The Airforwarders Association (AfA) is driving an initiative to help find solutions for five critical issues contributing to airport congestion in the US.

Members of AfA’s Airport Congestion Committee (ACC) have agreed to focus on developing solutions in the areas of: technology and automation; service standards; airport facilities and infrastructure; staffing and hours of operation; and regulatory and paperwork challenges.

The five critical issues were identified following a survey of airport cargo stakeholders.

ACC members will now work on producing a “Recommendation Paper” with which to approach private, public, and government entities in order to highlight challenges and suggest solutions for cargo congestion issues at airports. The ACC is looking at obtaining public funds for a range of capital and technology improvements.

“When we have completed the work, we will be inviting the air cargo industry to come together to implement the needed solutions for more efficient throughput and movement of inbound and outbound air cargo at airports,” said Donna Mullins, vice president of AfA member Kale Info Solutions, and chair of the ACC.

The ACC, which has recently been joined by Airlines for America (A4A) and the Airline Service Providers Association (ASPA), is seeking to drive improvements including enhanced electronic communications linking all the stakeholders at an airport, as well as improved access and on-airport landside infrastructure to accommodate the operating demands of the trucking industry.

Modernised airport cargo facilities designed to facilitate throughput and accommodate the requirements of mechanised handling systems, and cross-training across all business segments to enhance communications and operating efficiency, are also identified as key areas for improvement.

Members of the 35-strong ACC, comprising companies from across the supply chain, including airports, airlines, ground handlers, forwarders, and trucking and tech companies, have been tasked with prioritising and suggesting solutions using a list of evaluation criteria including costs, applicability and ease of implementation, urgency, and timelines.

ACC will meet at the end of May to review submissions and plan next steps and deliverables.

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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]