The National Academies

ACRP 03-16 [Completed]

Estimating the Economic Impact of Air Cargo Operations at Airports, Part 1: User’s Guidebook and Part 2: Research Report

  Project Data
Funds: $500,000
Research Agency: Battelle
Principal Investigator: Patrick Balducci
Effective Date: 6/5/2009
Completion Date: 10/1/2014

Air cargo services are part of a complex network of diverse economic production and distribution activities carried out across a wide spectrum of airport configurations.  In response to this diversity, approaches employed by airports must account for differing operational roles with a variety of facilities located in many locales. 

Adding to the complexity, the air cargo industry is under continuing pressure to implement additional oversight measures (e.g., security) for moving cargo on passenger aircraft and, to a lesser extent, on freighter aircraft.  There is every indication that demand for these measures will continue to evolve and grow over time with increased costs to the industry and to the nation’s economy as a result.  The principal industry stakeholders concerned with and affected by these measures include the following: (1) airports, (2) airlines, (3) cargo forwarders, (4) air cargo truckers, (5) independent ground handlers, and (6) commercial shippers and consignees. 

The economic contribution of air cargo to airports and the communities they serve is significant.  Therefore, it is important to provide effective tools and techniques to measure and value the contribution of air cargo activity to local, regional, and national economies, allowing improved response to changing global market conditions.   

The objective of this research is to develop a guidebook for use by airport operators and other air cargo industry stakeholders that provides tools and techniques for measuring existing and future economic impacts of air cargo activities at a national, regional, and local airport level in the context of changing market, financial, security, and other conditions.  Critical issues in measuring economic impacts of air cargo activity at a given airport should include but not be limited to the following: (1) size of the air cargo market, (2) source and purpose of air cargo activity, (3) effect of changing fuel prices, (4) understanding complex linkages to changing economic conditions, (5) effect of increasing security requirements, and (6) availability and comparative cost of alternate cargo shipment modes.

 Status:  The Final Report has been published as a Web-Only Document.

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