Tackling peak flower season with special projects

16-05-2019    03:15   |    Cargo Airport News

In honor of Mother’s Day and the surge in airfreight demand that ensured mom would get her flowers on time, Cargo Airport News has identified three airport projects around the globe designed to meet peak season flower demand. These projects include:   

#1: Quito (UIO) plans to meet growing flower demand with infrastructure expansion 

Located in Ecuador’s capitol city of Quito, Quito Airport (UIO) serves as the conduit for the massive amounts of flowers – especially roses – grown in its surrounding area. To meet burgeoning demand for flowers and perishables, UIO is increasing its available cargo capacity and infrastructure. 

To strengthen its operations, UIO built a sixth aircraft stand and expanded its palletizing area by 1,000 square meters in 2018. This year, the airport plans to carry out several expansion projects, including the extension of its 28 land-side cargo docks, as well as reconfiguring its air-side taxiway. Further details for these projects are yet to be determined but are expected to be announced over the coming months. 

#2: Miami (MIA) supports flower shipments with streamlined procedures  

Miami International Airport (MIA) is well known for the high volumes of perishables that move through its airport. In the realm of flowers alone, MIA reported that during 2018 it handled 88.7% of all flowers coming into the United States by air. To support its perishable volumes and flower shipments, specifically, the airport offers special on-airport infrastructure and procedures. 

As most of the flower and perishable volumes coming into MIA are from South America, the airport hosts its Cargo Clearance Center (CCC) on airport property, which houses all U.S. Federal Agencies to provide a one-stop clearance center for documentation. In addition to this center, the airport also has a dedicated “Plant Protection Quarantine Inspection Station” building for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Plant Protection and Quarantine division. The building includes a laboratory where officers can inspect foreign plants that may contain pests or diseases not native to the U.S.  

“The laboratory and operations of USDA at the airport provide a huge advantage – if an odd insect or something is found in flower or perishables shipments, it can be analyzed immediately at airport, rather than needing to be sent to Alabama for the same procedure, which can save companies time and money,” MIA Aviation Trade and Logistics Manager Emir Pineda said.

#3: Anchorage (ANC) plants peony test beds 

Taking advantage of Anchorage Airport’s (ANC) northern geographic location, airport authorities have initiated a project to test the viability of farming flowers at the airport. The airport aims to provide fresh flowers during their peak season that may not be otherwise available elsewhere, while keeping freighters leaving the airport full. 

The airport planted peony seeds on a 400 square foot plot of land south of the airfield last autumn, which are now just beginning to bloom. Given the close proximity of the test beds to the airport, peonies can be clipped directly at the airport before being sent off on a plane to consumers domestically or internationally. ANC Airport Manager Jim Szczesniak told Cargo Airport News that the airport has 20 to 40 acres of land also south of the airfield available for farming should the project prove successful. Airport authorities will review and determine future plans for the project at the end of this or next summer.  

“Peony flowers are very popular during spring and wedding season, but often are not available because they bloom earlier in the year,” Szczesniak said. Alaska, however, has a later blooming season, which means that when these flowers bloom in Alaska they can be sent out during the peak of wedding season.  

Note: The content of this article may be edited for style and length.

Click here to read the complete article at Cargo Airport News.

Photo credit: Jordy Vaca via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Comments (0)

No comments found!

Write new comment

More news