NYCEDC to study decline in JFK’s freight volume
In February, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) issued an RFP for a consultant to scrutinize the air cargo industry. Specifically, NYCEDC wants to know why airfreight processed at JFK International Airport dropped dramatically from 2006 to 2009. The organization is currently sifting through 10 RFPs, an organization spokesperson told Air Cargo World.
With 1,700 acres of air cargo space, JFK International Airport is headquarters to the northeast region’s U.S. Customs office and features an automated manifest system computerized customs clearance device. What’s more, 1,000 airfreight businesses are located in JFK’s backyard. Still, not even those merits could stop the airport’s air cargo business from plunging 490,000 tonnes in three years.
To NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky, this is a matter that necessitates further research. “The air cargo industry, which employs thousands of New Yorkers and generates billions of dollars in economic activity, is an essential piece of the region’s economy,” Pinsky said in a statement. “With air cargo competition increasing across the country, this study will help identify opportunities to keep our region competitive and growing.”
The New York City Industrial Development Agency and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) are funding the study.
Economic Development Corp. Spokesman Kyle Sklerov said that of the 10 responses to the RFP the organization has received, the NYCEDC has yet to select a finalist. “We expect to choose a consultant by May or June,” Sklerov said. Once a consultant is chosen, the in-depth study will commence. Sklerov projects that the study will be completed by the end of the year.
When the study is finished, Sklerov said, NYCEDC hopes to have a more comprehensive picture of the air cargo industry, enabling them to plan for the future.
PANYNJ Executive Director Chris Ward said he believes this research will have strong implications for JFK's air cargo operations. “JFK is one of the nation’s premier air cargo hubs, handling more than 1.3 million tonnes of cargo a year and generating billions in economic activity for the New York region,” Ward said in a statement. “Our partnering with [NYC]EDC on this study will give us the tools we need to ensure that JFK continues to be a worldwide leader in the air cargo industry.”