A company that develops the building could sublease space to other tenants that could handle cargo for airlines. The company would have to prepare airport land for construction of the facility, which would have access to the airfield.
Airport officials envision “the marriage of underlying digital and technology innovation” to make Hartsfield-Jackson more attractive for air freight. They decided to move forward on the project after gauging market interest over the last year. The airport is accepting formal proposals from companies until March 4.
The air cargo expansion at Hartsfield-Jackson will drive economic growth in the region and create more jobs, officials from the airport and City of Atlanta have said.
However, as the pandemic struck a blow on the global economy, overall cargo volume for the January-November period at Hartsfield-Jackson still declined 8.5% year-over-year, according to the most recent airport data available. The declines were driven by sharp drops in international freight and mail, while domestic cargo volume was up.
It was still a much milder decline than the severe drop in passenger volume at Hartsfield-Jackson, down 61.2% year-over-year for the January-November period.