Lambert-St. Louis International Airport could strike a deal this year with Mexico to develop cargo activity through St. Louis, which is part of the airport’s drive to increase volume.
The airport tells Air Cargo Week, the agreement has only been verbally agreed at this stage, but the hope is to ratify it over the next few months. The exact routes and flights and types of cargo likely to be handled, have, “yet to be determined,” and the proposed agreement is at an early stage.
The governor of Mexico state, Eruviel Ávila, announced on Tuesday 7 April, the intent to form the agreement with Lambert-St. Louis airport to develop the cargo programme. The verbal agreement has to be approved by the government of Mexico.
St. Louis is seen by Mexico as potentially a key hub for the country’s international imports and exports. Lambert-St. Louis is set to link up with Toluca International Airport, which serves the largest industrial region in Mexico. Lambert-St Louis airport’s director, Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, was part of the delegation in Mexico City last week.
Hamm-Niebruegge says: “This [deal] advances the airport’s strategic plan to establish and grow scheduled international cargo activity and it certainly advances our dual customs project that would be key to facilitating Mexican cargo shipments through St. Louis.”
St. Louis mayor, Francis Slay, says logistics must be improved to benefit the movement of cargo between St. Louis and Mexico.
The talks last week involved discussions about the next steps and a timetable for additional meetings that will then focus on developing details of a formal commerce agreement.
Lambert-St. Louis says that Mexico is the third largest foreign trade partner for the St. Louis region. The total trade between the two is valued at more than $3.5 billion. In January 2015, the US airport handled 4,600 tonnes of cargo, a drop of 10 per cent on the 5,110 tonnes that was recorded in January 2014.