The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) have released a JFK Air Cargo Study, with the aim of helping JFK regain its dominance in air cargo tonnage.
The joint report was commissioned by both agencies and prepared by Landrum & Brown Inc. consultants.
“Our airports are critical to the economic well-being of our city and region,” said NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky. “The air cargo industry alone accounts for tens of thousands of jobs and generates billions of dollars in economic activity. We know, however, there is still room for improvement. The results of this study will allow us to build on our strengths, thereby ensuring that we continue to remain competitive in this important industry well into the 21st century.”
The report starts by noting that the stakes for making improvements are high. More than 15,000 people at JFK work directly in air cargo related jobs. In addition to supporting over 50,000 jobs regionally, the air cargo industry provides nearly $3 billion in wages and over $8.5 billion in sales in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area alone.
It says that changing patterns in international air traffic and the economic downturn are among various factors responsible for a 25-percent drop in air cargo tonnage at JFK over the decade from 2001-2010.
The study recommends (see page 15 in the executive summary) a revised physical master plan to guide future growth of JFK’s cargo operations.
The study includes plans to expand opportunities at JFK’s existing Foreign Trade Zone to defer taxes on goods processed in the zone, increase cargo tonnage, build new state-of-the-art cargo facilities and improve cooperation between agencies to move cargo trucks in and out of the airport more efficiently.
Bolstering the modernization, improved access and updated business practices would be the launch of a JFK Air Cargo marketing campaign to attract more business to the airport.
The campaign would stress on the unparalleled access that JFK provides to regional, national, and international markets. Promotions also would tout JFK’s ability to accommodate both freighter and wide body passenger jets with tarmac access for the largest planes in the world fleet — the A-380 and the 747-8F.
Other recommendations in the report include calls for improved communications among the Port Authority, NYCEDC and city industries, consideration of an industrial business improvement district, and creation of an air cargo unit within the Port Authority’s aviation department.
”The regional air cargo industry has few rivals as an engine for our economy, which is why it is so important to nurture and expand this vital business,’’ said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “Working with our industry partners will create a platform for expansion of the cargo industry in New York City and the creation of additional jobs.”
Read the full JFK Air Cargo Study at nycedc.com.