- Associated Press - Saturday, April 22, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Air-freight operator FedEx will spend $170 million to upgrade its hub at Indianapolis International Airport and hire more than 200 workers, most of whom will be part-time.

FexEx’s expansion, which is predicted to increase 2017 revenue and earnings for the company, may be a good sign for the airport, as about 12 percent of the airport’s 2015 revenue was from FedEx, through lease payments and landing fees.

Despite passenger growth, since 2015 there was an almost 2 percent decline in weight of cargo shipments to and from the airport, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported (https://bit.ly/2pDhpDx ).

Though the U.S. air cargo market has been stagnant, a rise in world trade is expected to help it increase, said John Wensveen, a professor at Purdue University’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology

“If you were to look into the crystal ball and say, ‘OK, what does the next 10 or 15 years look like?’ It’s promising,” Wensveen said.

A study conducted by aircraft maker Airbus predicts a 4 percent annual growth in the air cargo industry with particular opportunities in e-commerce and express carriers.

The airport is also working with state economic development officials to ship more cargo out of Indianapolis rather than Chicago O’Hare or other large cargo airports, said Eric Anderson, Indianapolis Airport Authority director of properties.

The airport sees belly cargo - cargo traveling in the belly of passenger aircraft as opposed to dedicated air cargo planes - as an area for growth.

“As our passenger route structure grows, we anticipate seeing that incremental cargo growth as well,” Anderson said.

The Airports Council International says Indianapolis is the eighth-busiest cargo airport in the United States and the 24th-busiest in the world. FedEx represented 98 percent of the airport’s air freight last year.


Information from: Indianapolis Business Journal, https://www.ibj.com

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