Airforwarders Association - FORWARD Magazine, Spring 2019

Secretary’s Report 10 Forward Magazine Q Spring 2019 Airforwarders Association A irport congestion has been an issue for quite some time now. As a frequently-flying passenger, it is ever-present in all phases of air travel. From driving into an airport, to the lines at check-in, security, and boarding, as well as taxiing to take-off and retrieving luggage upon arrival, the crush of people and the failure of processes to manage these pain points is evident. While passengers can give voice to their displeasure and airlines and airports can take steps to alleviate the cause or placate aggrieved travelers, cargo has no such vehicle for remediation, despite being no less a victim of congestion. It seems that the airports just can’t keep up. Updates are required at airports across the globe in order to accommodate more travelers as well as the increase in cargo. How can this be accomplished? To me this will always be a problem. It reminds me of my own home that was built in 1953. At the time, the house was perfect for the lifestyle of the 50’s. However, today, it just doesn’t fit the bill. I’ve had to upgrade windows due to the increased noise pollution, upgraded the electrical to accommodate all of the technical gadgets we need today (we all need a talking refrigerator that keeps our grocery list, right?), not to mention the fact that there was only one full bath for a three bedroom house. I keep up the best I can, but don’t have the funds to build on to my home so that I have a master bedroom suite with walk-in closet and bath. I feel like airports are in the same boat. Unless airports rebuild the infrastructure and technology to accommodate the flow of traffic, there will only be band-aids and workarounds. Some may succeed and some won’t. For example, the idea of moving trucks away from the cargo buildings to a marshalling yard sounds great in theory. When driving by the airport, the congestion seems to have cleared up. However, the actual issue still remains. Drivers are still waiting in these marshalling yards for prolonged periods of time. We need to get to the root cause of the problem, and no single party is responsible. Like an old tree, there are many roots contributing to these issues. Airlines, freight forwarders, ground handlers, truckers, shippers and local and federal governments all play a part. Saying “government” also serves as a catch-all for a long list of involved agencies such as DOT, FAA, TSA, CBP and more. Everything from properly documenting cargo to Sandy Gregory AfA Secretary