Impact Publications : Aircargo-259
Page 24 • AIRCARGO ASIA-PACIFIC MAR-APR , 2019 Antonov hits 30th birthday ANTONOV Airlines has turned 30, having pioneered the air transport of outsize and heavy cargo and holding the record for the heaviest single piece of cargo transported by air. “As we look back on 30 years and the projects we have completed, we see one of our strengths is the flexibility of our business to adapt to changing markets,” said Gra- ham Witton, managing direc- tor Antonov Airlines. On 11 August 2009, an An-225 Mriya, the world’s largest air- craft, transported a generator with a total payload of 187.6 tonnes from Frankfurt, Germa- ny to Yerevan, Armenia, break- ing the record for heaviest single piece of air cargo ever transported. “When the business first started, many items such as satellite containers, genera- tors and transformers were too big or too heavy to fly on conventional freighters,” said Paul Furlonger, director An- tonov Airlines, who has been with the carrier since its first days in 1989. “As the first commercial operator of the An-124 -100, we had to quickly pioneer meth- ods of loading using creativity and flexibility. “At the beginning, we were doing things for the first time almost every time and over the years, after many thou- sands of flights, our processes have become more refined and our expertise enhanced so that we now undertake ever more challenging and complex projects with absolute confi- dence,” he added. More reviews, but this time the govt aims to achieve a seamless transport network THE PRODUCTIVITY Commission www.pc.gov.au, fresh from reporting on the economic regulation of Aus- tralian airports, is now undertaking a review of national transport reforms to ensure they are delivering produc- tivity benefits and safety. It is one of several initiatives the current government has triggered in the past year, a trend that is likely to be continued by whichever political group is in power next. Meantime, as cited briefly in our daily e-news, think tank Infrastructure Partnerships Australia www.infrastruc- ture.org.au has called on the govern- ment to get more involved in the air cargo sector. The Productivity Commission review will not deal specifically with aviation matters because any trans- port reforms will deal mostly with maritime, road and rail transport. However, given the growing empha- sis on integrated transport planning, they are of some significance to air cargo. Calling for the review, deputy prime minister Michael McCormack said that “with many COAG transport reforms in place and operating for a number of years, now is the time to examine whether they are working in a way that boosts productivity and promotes safety. “These reforms - which established a national regulatory system - were designed to provide productivity gains for the economy and reduce the compliance burden on the transport industry by cutting duplication and multiple fees. “By making sure the reforms are working as they were designed to, we can continue to support the transport industry to create jobs and opportuni- ties for Australians into the future and keep goods moving around the coun- try efficiently and safely. “It will also help us shape a sensible approach to future regulation,” noted McCormack. In May 2018, the COAG transport and infrastructure ministerial council www.transportinfrastructurecouncil. gov.au committed to developing a 20-year National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy which will form the basis of an integrated approach to im- proving the connectivity of all freight modes and supply chains. Implementation of the strategy by industry and all three tiers of govern- ment from this year is designed to ‘enhance the competitiveness of all Australia’s regions in domestic and global markets and help us achieve truly liveable, efficient and affordable cities and regional centres’. The Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) call is based on a re- search study – 2019 International Air- freight Indicator – that showed goods to the value of some A$109 billion an- nually were travelling within the belly holds of international aircraft flying in and out of Australia. “Every day more than 550 inter- national flights arrive and depart Australia, yet until now, we have been remarkably blind to the value, the type of commodity, and the econom- ic contribution of goods that travel in the belly of these aircraft,” said IPA chief executive Adrian Dwyer. While shippers, freight forwarders, Customs brokers and others in the sector might disagree with the notion that no-one has much noticed this traffic, given that it is a substantial part of the sector’s air cargo busi- ness, there is some truth in the large tonnage not being fully recognised, accounted for or analysed in trans- port network planning.