Alexandria, VA—The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, operator of Washington Dulles International Airport, and Chateauroux-Deols Airport in France joined together today at the French Embassy for the official signing in the United States of an air cargo alliance agreement. This agreement is the first step in the creation of a worldwide organization of airports joining together to promote and develop their air cargo and logistics businesses.
This unique alliance agreement, signed by David T. Ralston, Jr., Chairman of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board of Directors, James A. Wilding, President and CEO of the Airports Authority, Senator Francois Gerbaud, President of the Chateauroux-Deols Airport and Martin Fraissignes General Manager of Chateauroux Airport, represents an innovative approach to air cargo development. The agreement is intended to: raise awareness of air cargo users of the advantages of shipping via airport alliance partners; develop additional cargo-aviation business alliances; attract new cargo services, and set uniform service standards among alliance partners.
The United States and Chateauroux-Deols Airport have a long history -- dating back to 1950 when the airport was officially handed over to the United States Army under the NATO agreement. For 17 years, the U.S. Armed Forces made the airport and Indre County its first European base and built an infrastructure of runways, aircraft parking and warehouses. During the height of the base operations, more than 8,600 Americans lived in Indre County. Although the base has been closed since 1967, the residents of Indre County have organized reunions for United States veterans.
Said Senator Gerbaud, "This agreement with the United States will lead us to develop our freight activities and may be a point of entry into the American market for industrialists in our region."
"This alliance reflects the importance each airport has in its respective community in terms of attracting cargo services and promoting economic growth," agreed Chairman Ralston.
The alliance partners will participate in joint marketing/promotional events, shared business development, initiate an educational program with participating airports, and establish a web site on the Internet.
Ultimately, the goal for the Airport Air Cargo Alliance will be to involve a wide representation of international airports, said Mr. Wilding, "As we bridge the oceans with this agreement, we hope to initiate the creation of a global network of airports dedicated to air cargo development."
In fact, the most recent airport to join this alliance, Shenzhen Airport Authority, has just announced its participation. The Shenzhen Airport Company is the 4th largest airport in China. Located in the southern region of the Peoples Republic of China, SAC opened in 1992 and served 5 million passengers and moved 114 metric tons of cargo in 1998.
# # #