Lambert St. Louis International Airport is pushing for cargo charter traffic.
The airport has recently been concentrating its marketing on scheduled freighter services and is taking steps to position itself as a viable cargo charter airport for the U.S. Midwest.
The airport is increasing the amount of charter-related information on its website. The website also now features details of local ancillary service providers such as cargo handlers, freight forwarders, customs brokers and specialist equipment operators.
“Attracting scheduled freighter services is a long process, especially in the currently unfavorable environment where freighters are being parked and frequencies reduced. We continue to work hard for this business, but tangible results could take some time yet,” David Lancaster, cargo development director, said. “On the other hand, ad hoc charters continue to flourish. We already accommodate many such flights each year, and we are well suited and located to expand this important area of our business.”
Lancaster said the benefits for charter operators include the airport’s central location within 500 miles of one-third of the U.S. population and 48 hours’ trucking time from 70 percent of U.S. business.
The airport has no nighttime operating curfews and has a 24/7 customs presence. It is also close to inland waterways and major highways, and there is little ramp congestion and slot constraints. In addition, the airport has four runways that can accommodate any fully-loaded aircraft.
“Some of the leading charter operators already pick STL whenever they are allowed a choice of airport by their customers,” Lancaster said. “They speak highly of the ease of operating here.”