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   Vol. 19 No. 19
Thursday March 5, 2020
Airports In the Viral Landscape Of 2020
Dan Muscatello

“Although the threat presented by the virus and the potential near and long-term implications for air cargo and airports are still largely undetermined, if the disease proceeds along the course predicted by health experts, the aviation industry needs to consider several potential impacts,” said Dan Muscatello, long time air cargo airport executive.
     For 40 years, Dan has been one of the industry’s leading experts in air cargo, land use, and strategic planning. He’s just about seen it all. Looking over the current airport situation around the world, Dan spoke to FlyingTypers in an exclusive interview.

Dan The Man

     Dan was one of the founding members of the Air Cargo Committee (then Sub-Committee) in 1990-1991. He has remained active and a leader with the Committee since then.
     He is currently co-writing as well as editing the Air Cargo Guide, the original version of which he helped create in 1995.

No Two Airports Alike

     “Not every airport will be affected the same way, but a great many airports will see some changes and should be prepared to address them.
     “Passenger load factors will drop both domestically and internationally, opening up belly capacity that airlines will look to fill with cargo whenever possible to help cover costs.
     “Some domestic flights with marginal financial feasibility may be suspended. Internationally, we are already seeing the cancellation of passenger flights to a number of virus-impacted destinations, which shifts greater volumes to freighters.
      “The changes to routing and volumes on international flights may have an impact on staffing capability and shift coverage for government agencies.”

Dan & Bran

     “Recently Brandon Fried, Executive Director of the Airforwarders Association and I discussed how forwarders might be impacted and how they are responding to the growing crisis.
     “Changes in routing will be inevitable as the industry seeks creative solutions, but the emergence of these new or expanded transshipment centers may create price increases based on demand.
     “It may also be the case that these new centers change as the virus proliferates and/or the industry devises more efficient and cost-effective logistics chains.

Airports & Changing Landscape

     “Moving forward, retail buying patterns will shift even further away from brick and mortar as consumers shy away from malls and turn to e-commerce for a much broader array of products.
     “For airports, this can create a number of capacity issues over the near term.
     “Facilities that have been sized and developed based on traditional cargo forecasts, may prove to be challenged with an unanticipated influx of volumes.
     “E-commerce is about trucking as much as it is about aircraft.
     “Airports will need to ensure that there is adequate roadway and queuing capacity, as well as bay access to keep things flowing smoothly.
     “The increase in freighter activity, particularly at e-commerce focused and international airports will also present challenges for aircraft ramp utilization.
     “Many of the capacity issues can be addressed through more effective management and communications, but for some airports new infrastructure may be required.

Pressure on Airports After The Fall

     “Overall,” Dan Muscatello predicts, “in many instances, during 2020 airport revenues will fall.
     “Reduced revenues from landing fees, PFC’s, fuel flowage fees, as well as parking and retail sales in the terminals will more than likely decline.
     “Depending on potential changes to cargo routings, airport percentages on cargo handling fees may drop as well.
     “The result will be additional pressure on many airports to develop new sources of revenue to compensate for the potential losses.”

The New Reality

     “One thing I learned in my years spent in New York, is to respect what I call the ‘subway strike phenomenon.’
     “In the event of a strike and the resultant loss of a major transportation element, commuters adapted to cars, buses, ferries, and any other mode that worked to ensure that business carried on.
     “When the strike was settled, there was always a percentage of people who determined that they would not go back to the subway and stuck with their new transport mode.
     “The longer the virus disrupts the air cargo industry, the greater the propensity will be for at least some permanent change that will be beneficial for some airports and regions, and less so for others.
     “In any event, it appears as though 2020 will be a year of challenges and change,” Dan Muscatello assures.
     After heading cargo operations for the Port Authority of NY and NJ, Dan Muscatello worked as a private developer of air cargo facilities, overseeing the planning and coordination of multi-firm consulting teams on large-scale domestic and international projects.
     In total, he has planned more than 20 million square feet of air cargo facilities at airports all over the world, including large air logistics parks for major gateway airports.
     Dan now heads his own company where he continues his work in cargo and land use development, strategically integrating on and off airport planning to help airports grow revenue and regional jobs through new and dynamic business models.

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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Access specific articles by clicking on article title
FT022820Vol. 19 No. 16
Virus Cancels FIATA HQ Session
COVID-19 Widens China Shutdown
Chuckles for February 28, 2020
JFK Cargo Expo March 25
Virgin Cargo MAN Up To DEL

FT022920Vol. 19 No. 17
IATA Istanbul & The Global Emergency
COVID-19 Business As Usual Is Unusual

Vol. 10 No. 18
IATA Cancels WCS Istanbul
Reaction As COVID-19 Crisis Deepens
Chuckles for March 2, 2020



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