New Air Cargo Hub in Oklahoma to reduces market time and ease congestion

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Global Transportation and Industrial Park of Oklahoma (GTIP) is being created on more than 200 acres of shovel-ready and build-to-suit land at the former U.S. Army Air Force base in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Representatives of GTIP have begun discussions with airlines, freight forwarders, integrators, and beneficial cargo owners about developing air cargo solutions at the multimodal park. 

GTIP will become an international, state-of-the-art global cargo hub. It includes an already fully functional airport with 9,002-foot and 5,404-foot runways, 24/7 airspace access and 1.2 million square feet of aircraft parking space. The existing infrastructure can handle the vast majority of preighters and freighters, up to the B777-200, and future plans will increase the capacity to include the B-747 freighter family.

“GTIP represents an extraordinary opportunity for the air cargo community to create capacity by utilizing an existing airport that can accept air cargo today,” said Michelle Bowling, senior director of sales for Watco, a partner in developing and operating GTIP. “E-commerce-related cargo drove significant growth in the air cargo industry during the pandemic, and we expect that growth to continue steadily. To meet increasing demand, freight deserves dedicated, specialized cargo airports, but too few are available. GTIP helps fill that need, offering both existing infrastructure and space to build out customized warehousing, manufacturing, and distribution centers to meet a fully integrated supply chain need.”

With access to air, rail, and five major highways, the site’s availability and adaptability will improve cargo’s time to market. There are no limitations on cargo that can be safely and expertly handled at GTIP, including perishables and agricultural products. 

“The air freight industry is challenged by a combination of change and growth on an unprecedented level,” said Steven Verhasselt, a 20-year veteran in the air cargo space, Vice President of Commercial at Liege Airport, and Director of FB Cargo Strategy. “GTIP represents a quick and intelligent solution for the capacity crunch in the air cargo supply chain in the United States. Developing a greenfield multimodal logistics platform adapted to the new requirements on a fully functional airfield is a perfect answer as it can develop quickly and still be adaptable to current and future requirements. As a dedicated cargo platform it will focus on quality service and guaranteed reliable and flexible minimum time to market.”

“I fully second the above statement”, said Youri Busaan, managing director of AnTho Consulting BV with more than 25 years of experience in airport management and the air cargo industry. “With its central location and dedicated focus on freighters, GTIP will become from the start of operations a preferred destination for the air cargo charter market and regular services will follow soonest.”

WP Global Holdings, LLC, a partnership between Watco, Knightsbridge Partners, and Chickasaw Nation, will develop the park under a public-private leasing agreement with property owner Ardmore Development Authority. WP Global Holdings has created a master plan for GTIP, including roughly $99 million for infrastructure improvements and $26 million for additional warehouse, manufacturing, and distribution facilities. The plan maintains flexibility to respond to prospective customers’ current needs and long-term plans. Located in the heart of the Chickasaw Reservation, GTIP qualifies for Native American accelerated depreciation.

“We welcome discussions with supply chain stakeholders about what they want to develop,” Bowling said. “GTIP puts them in a position to adapt to demand and is a rare opportunity to influence the master plan according to their own needs.”

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