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AIR CARGO FOCUSAIRPORTS


A Terex mobile crane loads through the nose door of an AN-124 freighter at Chicago Rockford Airport.


Air gateways that are ready for anything


A great deal of project cargo is moved by sea and involves impressive logistics operations at ports around the world. But many items – whether urgent, outsize or both – are flown to where they are needed. Certain airports have a vital role to play in the process, reports Megan Ramsay.


roject cargo can mean a 15 kg shipment that is urgently required overnight to prevent the standstill of a factory, or 150 tonnes of equipment, according to Christoph Götzmann, director business development, at Germany’s Frankfurt-Hahn airport. “But, at an educated guess I would say that including outsize, project cargo is about 10 percent of our business. The majority of our business is scheduled cargo traffic. As far as outsize cargo goes, the majority comprises ad hoc charters for the automotive, drilling and energy sectors.”


P www.heavyliftpfi.com


While the B747 freighter is the workhorse at Hahn, the airport also handles A310Fs, A300Fs, MD-11Fs and so on, depending on the type of cargo. For example, very long pieces of drilling equipment cannot be loaded onto an MD-11 freighter; a nose-loading B747F is necessary. Even the giant 250-tonne payload AN-225 aircraft has used Hahn. Then again, for a small spare part that is urgently needed to get a factory back up and running, a LearJet or an Embraer might be perfectly suited – so flexibility is the order of the day, Götzmann added.


“Air charters really come out of the blue; they could be anything from munitions to heavy vehicles, such as those that were sent from the USA to Iraq and Afghanistan for the wars there, to the Budweiser horses that pull a beer cart in parades around the world,” observed Ken Ryan, cargo and business development director at Chicago Rockford International airport. “At Rockford, for example, there might be a new start-up automotive or agricultural equipment production line in the area. The ocean freight required could already be on its way but they might bring in a few air charters to get things going more quickly.” There are several areas in which certain airports are better suited to handling project cargo than other nearby gateways. Dirk Schmitt, acting vice president business administration at LuxairCargo – the principal cargo and ramp handling agent at Luxembourg Findel airport – considered:


Supplement July/August 2013 91


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