Air Cargo Increases In Tulsa, OKC

Tuesday, July 17th 2007, 3:50 pm
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Air cargo traffic at airports in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City increased significantly in May and June compared to the same time last year, but airport officials say they aren't sure why.

Carriers serving Will Rogers World Airport posted a 13.4 percent increase in freight transported in May to 2.88 tons, which marked the airport's first major increase for the year.

Tulsa International Airport carriers recorded stronger growth, led by outbound cargo. After single-digit hikes in three of the last four months, transported freight in May increased by 24.4 percent to 5 1/2 tons.

That trend continued in June with a 16.5 percent climb to 5.48 tons.

June numbers for Oklahoma City won't be released until Friday, but preliminary reports show cargo carriers recorded a 10.5 percent boost last month to 2.95 tons.

``We have asked around, and other than a general increase in cargo activity, we have yet to hear any of the anecdotal information out there that might explain it other than there is just more stuff coming in and out of Tulsa,'' said Carl Remus, deputy director of administration and finance at Tulsa International Airport.

Remus said a strong economy likely is responsible for the increase in air traffic.

The trends at Oklahoma's two major airports eclipse national results. Earlier this month both the Airport Council International and the International Air Transport Association referred to strong May results as a turnaround from sluggish demand seen earlier this year.

Despite sharp declines in mail cargo _ a reality at both major Oklahoma airports _ annual Tulsa airport freight figures have increased three of the past four years, said Alexis Higgins, the airport's marketing director. With 28.2 tons recorded year-to-date, airport carriers are on track to record its busiest year since 2000.

``It's a reflection of economic activity of a community,'' she said. ``It's our opinion as the Tulsa economy continues to excel, our cargo operations will continue to increase.''